Healthy lifestyles among Americans are the exception, not the norm.
According to a recent Mayo Clinic study, less than 3 percent of Americans adhere to the four criteria for healthy living:
- Avoiding smoking
- Eating a healthy, nutritional diet
- Exercising regularly on a weekly basis
- Managing Body Mass Index (BMI)
Chronic diseases place a financial strain on patients and health systems. When combined with emotional and physical difficulties, high costs can make it even more difficult to manage these conditions.
In the wake of ACA reforms and HITECH incentives, digital health innovations have rapidly expanded. These innovations are much-needed in order for health systems to keep pace with value-based measurements and EHR requirements.
However, many healthcare organizations have implemented disparate IT solutions, leading to unintended fragmentation and frustration for clinicians. This often results in providers spending more time ironing out details with vendors and less time with actual patients.
The enactment of the Affordable Care Act in 2010 has turned health care on its head. Even though the ACA didn’t cause immediate consolidation of hospital systems, over the last five years the legislation has expedited integration within health care.
In fact, around 71 percent of health care leaders indicate that in the next three years they expect to experience some form of M&A in their organization. And while much debate circulates around the cost benefit of consolidation for patients, in most cases these health care mergers lower expenses within both of the organizations involved.
Never before in the history of U.S. health care has there been so much competition for market share. In the past, traditional delivery was widely focused on particular geographic areas. This limited patient’s options to the providers nearest to them.
Now, however, patients have access to online telehealth and other wellness resources. Online retailers, who are new to the health care industry, are capitalizing on this consumer trend. We’re all aware that disruption and innovation has the potential to improve service delivery and patient care. However, the reality is that these new kids on the block are threatening the market share of established health systems.
Approximately one-third of people who are overweight are currently diabetic. According to the Centers for Disease Control, managing weight has become so difficult that people who fall within normal-weight ranges are currently in the minority.
Yet in 2018 the diet industry in the U.S. grew by 4%—to $72 billion. This leads us to question why so many people are struggling to self-manage conditions, like obesity, that directly contribute to chronic illness.