This post was written by our guest blogger Susan Maxsween, Director of Healthcare and Practice Transformation here at RMS.

No question, the landscape of healthcare delivery continues to evolve at a very rapid rate. The launch of Obamacare, the Healthcare Marketplace, Affordable Care Act, and the continued evolution of Accountable Care Organizations, patients, physicians, physician practices and healthcare delivery systems are trying to anticipate the next changes in health care delivery. With the evolution of these trends and the overall impact on patient care, one may begin to wonder what is next? We do know that there will continue to be key strategic decisions being contemplated and made in the coming year, all of which will truly impact the not only the delivery of patient care, but also how the patient, “healthcare consumer” will respond.  Cost is one key driver in care that has grown exponentially over the last few years, and is critical overall and is under the microscope in regards to how to better deliver care and manage patients.

the future of healthcare

KMB Group: Health Services’, an organization that is committed to providing integrated marketing solutions of providing direct marketing services to health insurance, financial services and other service businesses, recently published a whitepaper which addresses the top 10 healthcare trends for 2014.

There are many salient points made throughout the whitepaper, all of which will impact and drive the delivery of healthcare in the coming year.  No surprise that the evolution of healthcare delivery has been significantly impacted by the cost to deliver healthcare and the cost to receive healthcare. Patients now, more than before, are and will be expected to invest more proactively and become engaged in their healthcare.  This article touches how patient engagement can have a significant impact, both positively and negatively.  The structure of healthcare reimbursement is changing and is being driven by quality of care given, and the patients’ clinical outcomes. What does this really mean? In essence, patients that are compliant and well-managed clinically will provide the physician practices and healthcare systems with higher reimbursements. These clinical outcome metrics, assessing not only clinical care but patient safety as well, will significantly drive the delivery of care. What we are looking at is improving the overall health of patients, better engaging them in their own care, taking better care to stay healthy. While patients are more actively engaging in their patient care, the other critically important element to achieving the overall improved outcomes is the management of valuable patient data. This data will be invaluable not only to the payers, but the patients as well, and will truly drive decisions in regards to where care is delivered and rendered.

As the whitepaper references, patient centeredness will be instrumental to drive quality care. Data management and tracking patient clinical indicators is a component of an even bigger trend, which is the adoption of Patient Centered Medical Homes (PCMH), which provides the foundation and structure within a physician practices to deliver patient centered care.  The concept and term “PCMH” is not new to the healthcare delivery system. There are many healthcare organizations that engaged with the concept of Patient Centered Medical Homes. The most prevalent is the National Committee for Quality Assurance. To date, this organization has recognized over 6,700 medical homes since 2008. In 2013, NCQA extended the concept of the Patient Centered Medical Home to Specialty Practices, which is truly a progressive from the standpoint that in order to effectively manage patients with chronic conditions that are primarily being seen by their specialist, the key to successful patient management, yielding positive clinical outcomes is communication.

what is pcmh?

The other important aspect of patient care addressed is the overall patient experience. The term “customer centricity” will also drive where care is rendered. Patients of today and tomorrow are becoming much more vocal.  Patient loyalty will be a hot point and will be essential to manage. Patients, as they become more engaged, will rely heavily on communication. This ultimately, can have a significant impact on the growth of a practice or a healthcare delivery system. Assessing and analyzing the patient experience will not only be key, but an essential part of the “patient centered” approach to care delivery.

RMS Healthcare, a division of Research and Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) focuses on optimizing relationships with its healthcare clients.  With a dedicated team of healthcare consultants, RMS Healthcare offers targeted healthcare consulting and research services directed to the specialized needs of our healthcare clients in their practice transformation journey.

RMS Healthcare operates as an extension of our clients’ business in providing operational support functions. We work in tandem with our clients, developing customized work plans to ensure successful achievement of operational goals while maximizing use of technology as well as guidance and assisting in achieving operational goals to achieving Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) recognition. Our team works with hospitals, health-related facilities and primary and specialty care practices. Our firm understands that from a business perspective, transformation must focus on delivery of quality driven patient centered care, while also focusing on managing overall administrative expenses and increasing practice revenue.  RMS Healthcare is also a certified CAHPS® vendor and is the 14th largest in the country.  For more information about our services, please contact Susan Maxsween, Director of Healthcare and Practice Transformation at 315-635-9802 or at