It’s been a tumultuous few years for the healthcare industry, and especially skilled nursing and long-term care. Here’s what leaders should know about the healthcare trends coming our way in 2023, and what can be done to prepare for them in advance.
3 Healthcare Trends to Prepare for in 2023
#1: The ongoing extension of the clinical setting
Healthcare is undergoing a period of “retailification,” with companies like Walmart, Walgreens and CVS aggressively expanding retail availability of basic care services. “There are a lot of targets, especially mid-sized and small,” one insider told Sachin H. Jain, MD, MBA for an analysis published at Forbes. “Everyone will be in the game of trying to vertically integrate to make their core businesses more valuable.”
This is changing the dynamic of care in the United States in a number of ways. It affects the availability of clinical workers in a way that’s been a serious challenge to traditional healthcare employers. Yet at the same time, it’s also fueling a shift to at-home care for many care services, which is enabling many of those same organizations to expand their capacity without the need for additional staffing.
For instance, many hospitals are increasingly shifting post-acute care to other facilities, with the help of technology. And skilled nursing facilities are increasingly integrating home health into their service offerings. Both of these tactics can help offset the difficulties of a depleted workforce, as can the increased utilization of contingency workers that’s directly connected to the pandemic.
“Healthcare leaders still have huge challenges when it comes to affordability, regulations, and clinical staffing, but with innovative approaches to extending the clinical setting, engaging patients wherever they are, and exploring new staffing models, leaders can move the needle on advancing the best possible care for all,” as notes Wolters Kluwer in an analysis of future healthcare trends.
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#2: The continuing evolution of pharmacy services
One of the biggest changes to the traditional clinical setting can be seen in pharmacy services. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians have been prominent in the clinical response to Covid-19, and many retail drug stores have expanded their pharmacy services to meet greater demand for access and convenience.
Experts believe that, even as the pandemic eventually subsides into a yearly endemic, the need for pharmacy professionals will only grow in the years to come. “This potential for change will be driven by regulations and restrictions that have largely been relaxed during the public health emergency. Expect this shift to continue as a new pharmacy practice model emerges.”
“Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are often the most accessible healthcare providers in their communities,” as Annie Lambert, PharmD, BCSCP, Clinical Program Manager told Wolters Kluwer. “Both roles will continue to see an evolution in their scope of practice to include direct patient care that will only increase in the year ahead.’”
> Looking for pharmacy staffing services? Request staff here!
#3: A growth in outsourced billing services
Given the rising cost of living and consumer goods, concurrent rises in the price of labor are also expected to increase in the coming years. And, complicating things for employers, those increases are increasingly applying to administrative staff as well as clinical workers.
As a 2022 survey by the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) points out, high clinical turnover creates higher administrative costs for healthcare organizations. Managing and filing work authorizations, organizing credentialing and licensing — it all adds up to extra time and labor for workers that are usually already maxed out.
Jain notes in his Forbes piece that “streamlining work” and “eliminating unnecessary administrative tasks” is an actual step that healthcare leaders can take to offset these challenges. And Advanced Data Systems Corporation’s Christina Rosario predicts a surge in demand for cloud-based, outsourced billing services as another way to cope.
“Since practices often cannot hire internally as many billing staff members as they would prefer, it makes sense to outsource this work to a third-party medical billing facility,” Rosario writes. Outsourcing medical billing to a third-party vendor could “help healthcare providers gain greater control over the bottom line,” by helping them “get their billing done in a more efficient and timely manner.”
> Looking to streamline your billing or other administrative services? Discover how managed service programs (MSPs) can help
Prepare for 2023’s Most Impactful Healthcare Trends with CareerStaff
As one of the nation’s leading providers of healthcare staffing and managed services, CareerStaff specializes in helping facilities find and implement the workforce solutions they need to stay competitive.
With the challenges of hiring, retention and even scheduling and billing on our shoulders, the healthcare leaders we work with don’t just get access to more workers. They also get more time and freedom to focus on doing what they do best — running their facilities.
Contact us here to learn more about how we can help your organization thrive in the years to come.