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Craig Worland, Chief Development Officer

Written by Craig Worland, Chief Development Officer

Craig's Reflections on the 2023 Healthcare Landscape

2023 was an interesting year for healthcare. With the swift rise of AI and its impact on every aspect of the industry to a renewed focus on rural health and the need to prioritize patients at every level, my head was like a swivel keeping up with the stories day to day. In January, I made a few predictions on how healthcare would shift in 2023.

Now that the year is coming to a close, I wanted to look back on those predictions and reflect on the changes we saw in the industry this year. As they say, hindsight is 20/20, and I think there is just as much to be learned from what has happened as there is from what is to come in the future.

The Rise of Non-Traditional Healthcare Providers:

Patients have grown accustomed to more seamless and accessible healthcare services, largely due to the pandemic's disruptions. This shift in patient behavior has paved the way for non-traditional healthcare providers to expand their reach. In 2023, this growth did continue with Amazon’s introduction of Prime membership options for One Medical, which covers virtual care for a monthly fee. At HLTH this year, Teladoc Health announced a partnership with Hinge Health and Sword Health to provide virtual therapy for joint and muscle pain, impacting the future of care delivery from non-traditional providers.

Walmart's Pivot Towards Medicare Patients:

The partnership between Walmart and Optum/United Healthcare has yet to have a profound impact on the healthcare landscape. While Walmart and Optum have long been giants in their respective industries, this partnership is still in its early stages and impactful results have yet to be shared publicly.

Although the growth may be slow in 2023, we anticipate a rapid acceleration in 2024 and beyond. The combined resources of Walmart and Optum/United Healthcare will likely result in innovative approaches to delivering healthcare services, potentially disrupting the traditional provider-patient relationship.

Medicare Advantage Plans and Special Needs Patients:

Medicare Advantage Plans continue to evolve, with a strong emphasis on meeting the needs of special needs patients. These plans are actively seeking provider partners capable of delivering services that not only enhance patient outcomes but also reduce overall healthcare costs. Partnerships like these will help special needs patients gain access to zero-dollar copays for prescription drugs, free behavioral health services, and allowances for over-the-counter items aimed at improving their quality of life.

In addition to these services, Medicare Advantage Plans are looking beyond the traditional healthcare model. They are exploring initiatives that offer transportation assistance, in-home caregiving services, and food benefits to better support special needs patients and their families.

Looking Ahead

The healthcare landscape of 2023 is marked by an industry in transition. As healthcare executives, we must remain agile and adaptable to these shifting tides. Patient expectations for seamless, accessible, and affordable care will continue to drive innovation and competition among providers.

In the near future, we can expect even more groundbreaking developments in telehealth, AI-driven diagnostics, and personalized medicine. As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, our commitment to improving patient outcomes and delivering exceptional care remains unwavering.

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