FOMO is real! For the uninitiated, FOMO stands for Fear of Missing Out – the feeling that something important is happening without you. It’s often used flippantly, when one is unable to go on a camping trip with friends or has to miss the big game because of work, but when it comes to digital health, the fear of missing out is well-founded. From revenue to patient retention, digital health is becoming a central component to the American healthcare system that no provider should be missing out on.
Missing Out on Revenue
The steady rise of digital and connected health has largely occurred outside of the traditional healthcare sector. Much of what we now think of as connected health can be traced back to FitBit’s early success in the late 2000s. In the early 2010s, wearable technology became an increasingly important segment of consumer technology, yet still seemed foreign to the healthcare industry.
All that is changing, though. As wearable technology, patient-generated health data and connected health become more ingrained within clinical settings and workflows, revenue models are beginning to reflect this paradigm shift—the impact of which can be seen in two main categories:
- Reimbursement: Payers are beginning to reimburse providers for connected health interventions. Most importantly, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have begun rolling out billing codes for remote monitoring. (You can learn more about these new billing codes and how they will affect the sector in our November blog post on the subject.) Beyond the millions of Americans that will be covered by these new billing codes, it’s expected that other payers will follow CMS’ lead to begin reimbursing for digital health services.
- Health Outcomes: Even in cases where digital and connected health are not directly reimbursable, this innovative technology can make a major impact on health outcomes, particularly for chronic disease management, population health and hospital readmission rates. As payers move to value-based healthcare, the improved health outcomes that result from a small investment in connected health can lead to significant revenue increases—and prevent costly penalties.
It’s clear that revenue streams for both small practices and larger healthcare systems will be increasingly tied to the way providers can leverage digital and connected health technology. The providers who are able to integrate this new technology into their practices will reap the financial benefits while those that don’t will have their Fear of Missing Out realized!
Missing Out on Patients
As consumer technology moves into the healthcare space, we’re seeing the opposite effect in how patients are approaching their healthcare. More and more, patients are becoming consumers in the way that they’re approaching their healthcare decision-making. Patients now shop with a discerning eye when looking for a new provider—taking into account location, value, reputation and patient experience. The byproduct: an influx of patients who are considering digital health when it comes to picking their providers.
It wasn’t long after the consumer wellness industry took off that physicians began seeing patients bringing their own data into the exam room. Some physicians, the early adopters, embraced the new technology and engaged with their patients on this new data source. Others dismissed it as unreliable and unactionable, not worthy of the time it would take to review.
As we move into 2019, physicians no longer have the luxury of ignoring patient-generated health data. People now expect a patient experience that includes digital health. In fact, over 80% of patients surveyed in a 2017 Black Book Market Research survey agreed that providers should offer digital health resources to patients. That number jumped to over 90% when patients were asked about whether they expect digital health tools to enhance and facilitate patient-provider interactions. The consumer-patient of 2019 expects their provider to include digital health in their care, and if not they’ll bring their business elsewhere.
Taking the Fear Out of FOMO
The Fear of Missing Out on digital health is real, and routed in tangible threats to the success of healthcare providers across the healthcare industry. That fear shouldn’t prevent providers from embracing technology and joining the digital healthcare revolution. With its turnkey solutions and comprehensive functionality, HealthSnap can turn that fear into confidence that, by embracing digital technology, you’re doing what’s right not only for your patients, but your business as well.
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