Major Challenges in the US Healthcare System, 2024

The United States healthcare system is one of the most advanced in the world, but it also faces significant challenges. From high costs to lack of access to care, the issues facing the US healthcare system are complex and multifaceted. This blog will explore some of the biggest challenges facing the US healthcare system today, including rising costs, lack of access to care, and disparities in health outcomes. We’ll also look at potential solutions to these challenges and discuss the ways in which individuals, healthcare providers, and policymakers can work together to improve the US healthcare system for everyone.

The United States healthcare system is renowned for its cutting-edge technology and medical advancements, but it also struggles with a number of persistent challenges. From skyrocketing costs to inadequate access to care, these issues are complex and require a multifaceted approach to solve. In recent years, technology has played an increasingly significant role in healthcare, from telemedicine and remote monitoring to the use of artificial intelligence and data analytics. Here we will delve into the challenges that are still prevalent in 2024 and figure out how we can solve them.

The Challenges that have trickled down to 2024

  • Increasing cost of Healthcare: In the United States, healthcare prices are rising quickly. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) forecasts that national health spending will rise at an average annual rate of nearly 5.4% from 2019 to 2028, totaling $6.2 trillion. This can be explained by the effects of a number of variables, including the expanding population and changes in governmental policies.
  • Low overall patient experience and comfort: A survey was conducted by the HIMSS media for professionals at US hospitals which states that only 1 in 3 respondents believe that their organization is providing the best digital experience for patients. And even a lesser amount believe that their tools offer the best consumer experience for their patients. In addition to improving clinical outcomes, better patient compliance and early illness identification are brought about by a happy patient experience.
  • No Community-based organizations: What happens outside of hospitals has a significant impact on health. The general well-being and average life expectancy of people are influenced by several social factors, including the accessibility of food, unemployment, and violence exposure. Healthcare professionals are crucial to a healthy community. In order to address social determinants of health and make medical and non-medical services available to all populations, they must collaborate with community-based groups.

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  • Understanding the reimbursement models (Medicare and Medicaid): Patient healthcare is covered by the government healthcare programs Medicare and Medicaid. They must maintain a coordinated management procedure due to the wide variations in their repayment structures. Healthcare practitioners now have an additional responsibility to complete as a result of the extremely distinct Medicare and Medicaid application and receipt processes. In accordance with the requirements, they must also keep and record patient records for the services they provide in a specific format. To document that a patient has received medical care, doctors must complete the required electronic paperwork anytime Medicare is used to pay for treatment. The rules and regulations have made it necessary for healthcare professionals to follow the procedure in order to get compensated, greatly escalating the issues.
  • Non-existent supply management system: As patients, we never consider the administrative aspects of healthcare. However, they support the entire sector. Smooth healthcare services are assured by effective logistics techniques. The management of these logistics is still a challenging undertaking. Despite the fact that it may sound more like a supply chain management issue, it can lead to issues like poorly managed medical equipment and inventory or drug shortages. It results in inefficiencies on the front end, or the part of the doctor, and produces frustration and health risks for the patients. Traditional supply chain management is frequently ineffective and wasteful. Due to money being squandered on lost and damaged inventory, faulty equipment or medicine delivery, and patient harm, healthcare services suffer enormous financial losses. Without an effective supply management system, hospitals are the epicenters of costly operations due to supply shortages, lost inventory, and subpar shrinkage prevention measures.
  • Huge data volumes:  One of the most intimidating parts of healthcare is the amount of patient-related data. The patient database continues to grow as more patients are added, adding to the total amount of data available. Thus, it becomes even more difficult to manage this data. We cannot realistically expect the old infrastructure to manage and secure the data. The hospitals must find a solution for the problem of storing and retrieving this patient data as needed. Data overflow and poor management frequently result in inaccurate diagnoses, breaches in data security, subpar care, missed appointments, failure to monitor the patient’s condition as it advances or regresses, etc. Both doctors and patients could suffer greatly as a result.
  • Data sharing errors and inefficiencies: Despite notable improvements in medical research, the management techniques used in the healthcare sector have led to ongoing inefficiencies and healthcare blunders. This is more than just a barrier to medical research; because of the waste it produces, it slows progress. Patients not only pay the price for these inefficiencies and errors in terms of inconvenience and health, but we also see an increase in administrative costs and lawsuits as a result. The interchange of patient data when a patient is transferred from one department or hospital to another is one particular area of concern. The usual method of transmitting patient records is time-consuming, and ineffective, and leaves patients’ data vulnerable to a breach.

The Solutions to the above problems

  • EMR solutions to reduce cost: Make sure the electronic medical records (EMR) software you’re utilizing only offers features that are necessary. Consider your practice’s needs and choose software features accordingly. You could have to pay a larger subscription or licensing charge if the software you use has capabilities that aren’t used frequently. Look for vendors who give you the freedom to select and alter software features and modules to suit your needs.
  • Patient portals and telemedicine services: Telemedicine services let you remotely diagnose and treat patients using technology. These services save costs for healthcare professionals (patient treatment, equipment, transport, etc.) while also eliminating travel time and reducing exposure risk for patients. 84% of respondents said they would select a healthcare provider that provides telemedicine services, according to our 2020 patient experience survey. To give your patients access to their medical records, use patient portal software. Among other things, patients can update insurance information, check lab results, request prescription refills, and ask questions. Use patient scheduling tools to automate the procedure. Patients can look up a doctor’s availability and choose from open appointment times. They can also complete and submit online intake forms. In addition to improving the patient experience, this will also reduce the frequency of cancellations and no-shows.
  • Community health systems EHR and civic partnerships: Deploy and utilize community health systems EHR and civic partnerships. Assist in educating communities about healthcare advantages and the help offered by public institutions by working with civic organizations, social service providers, and educational leaders. Make sure your EHR has the capabilities of connecting with the state PDMP database and storing information on drug over-uses.
  • Invest in the Medicare Medicaid EHR systems with customizations: One of the most divisive political issues is healthcare reform. In order to make maintaining medical records and filing for Medicare and Medicaid easier, the industry is prepared to adopt electronic health record (EHR) systems. EHRs provide a nonpartisan tool for managing healthcare spending, projected to increase by 5.8% by 2022. You need to make sure that your EHR has the customizations to appropriately fill out electronic forms for reimbursement. Additionally, these platforms aid in streamlining information exchange between the government and medical professionals. Aside from facilitating the filing of patient files and asking for payment for the services provided, they also standardize the data format required by the government for the distribution of claims.
  • Invest in data analytics solutions: It’s essential to look to digital healthcare technology suppliers for a strong and effective solution to prevent significant losses and wasteful spending. At the top end of supply chain management, make an investment in an inventory or warehouse management system. In addition to being continually updated and having an intuitive graphic user interface (GUI), a strong data management system powered by data analytics also offers insightful and important data. Administrative and medical professionals can then obtain current budget allocations and correct inventory statistics.
  • Cloud migration: Massive data volumes can be handled by using mobile portals and cloud-based data systems. These solutions provide real-time access to patient-related data, including registrations, medical histories, diagnoses, treatments, appointments, and more, for healthcare providers. The records are updated in real-time and are suitably secured because the storage and retrieval are cloud-based.
  • Blockchain Technology: Blockchain technology offers a decentralized and highly secure platform for managing health records, ensuring that patient data is protected and immutable. This technology not only enhances privacy but also increases the trust and reliability of health data sharing between institutions and patients. For example, blockchain can be used to securely encrypt patient data, ensuring that only authorized individuals have access, thus mitigating risks related to data breaches. Read more on blockchain for healthcare.
  • Predictive Analytics: Predictive analytics use historical data and AI algorithms to predict future events, which can help healthcare providers anticipate patient needs, manage resources more efficiently, and ultimately reduce costs. For example, by predicting which patients are at risk of readmission, hospitals can implement early intervention strategies that improve care and reduce costly readmissions.
  • Digital Health Applications: Digital health apps can enhance patient engagement by providing users with tools for monitoring their health, managing chronic conditions, and communicating with their healthcare providers. These apps encourage patients to take an active role in their health management, which can lead to better compliance with treatment plans and healthier lifestyles.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML): AI and ML are being increasingly integrated into diagnostic tools to enhance accuracy and speed. These technologies can analyze vast amounts of medical data much faster than human clinicians, detecting patterns that may be indicative of disease. AI-powered imaging tools, for example, have been shown to improve the accuracy of diagnoses in areas such as radiology and pathology, reducing human error and improving patient outcomes. Read more on AI for healthcare.

How can we help?

It’s no secret that the healthcare industry is constantly evolving, and providers will face a number of challenges in the coming years as regulations change and new technologies are introduced. Navigating these changes can be difficult, but with the right support and guidance, providers can continue to deliver high-quality care to their patients.

At Nalashaa, we have been providing healthcare IT services for over a decade. Our team of experts has a deep understanding of the healthcare industry and works closely with provider networks to modernize their systems and stay ahead of the curve. With our help, providers feel confident in their ability to adapt and succeed in an ever-changing landscape.

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Mitrajit Das

Mitrajit Das

A writer with a keen interest in the Healthcare domain and B2B content marketing. He enjoys writing and creating pieces around the latest Healthcare IT trends using the simplest of words.
Mitrajit Das

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