Healthcare Challenges: 5 Major Problems the Industry is Facing

by
Clearstep Team

Healthcare is one of the most critical industries in the world. It touches everyone at some point in their lives, and it's vital that we get it right.

Despite its importance, healthcare is currently facing several major challenges. These problems prevent patients from getting the care they need and cost the industry billions of dollars annually.

Clearstep believes that healthcare can be easier. We want to help solve these challenges so that patients receive the best care possible. We're committed to finding innovative AI solutions to improve healthcare for everyone involved.

Keep reading to learn the five major healthcare problems many face nationwide. In the end, you'll discover how Clearstep is helping to tackle these problems.

Related: Moving Beyond the “HealthTech Hype Cycle” to Improve Digital Health Strategies

5 Serious Challenges the Healthcare Industry Faces

There are numerous problems the healthcare industry faces, but some outshine others. For example, many patients prefer telehealth services over the doctor for every little health concern. Although, telehealth services do come with some challenges, which we'll example below.

Also, healthcare providers often face issues with invoicing patients and receiving payments promptly. The other three challenges the healthcare industry faces includes poor patent experience, providers lacking price transparency, and payment incentives focusing on the wrong outcomes.

Challenge #1: Telehealth vs. Face-to-Face Care

Telehealth services are becoming more popular in the healthcare industry to provide patient care. However, some serious obstacles that come with telehealth services need to be addressed.

One obstacle is that telehealth services are not always accessible. For those without internet access/experience or a device that can be used for telehealth services, it’s not a viable optioin. To fix this issue, governments and private companies should invest in infrastructure to make telehealth services more affordable and accessible.

Another problem is that telehealth services can sometimes be unreliable. For example, the connection may not work well, or the video or audio quality may need improvement. 

This can make it difficult for patients and doctors to communicate effectively. Fixing these issues will require increasing the bandwidth for telehealth services and developing better technology platforms for transmitting the information.

Finally, there are concerns that telehealth services may not be as safe as face-to-face services. For example, there is a risk that information may need to be more secure or that patients may not be able to get the same level of care from a remote doctor. 

To ensure the security of telehealth services, governments and private companies must ensure their safety. This can be done by implementing security measures such as encryption and authentication protocols.

The main challenge with face-to-face services in the healthcare industry is keeping track of patient information and results. This can lead to medical errors and other serious problems. 

To solve these issues, healthcare providers must use technology to its fullest potential to improve communication and patient care. But, by using telehealth and face-to-face services, these issues can solve themselves and help health providers offer better services to their patients.

Challenge #2: Invoicing and Payment Collections

Invoicing and payment collection are severe problems in the healthcare industry. The industry loses an estimated $58 billion annually due to billing and payment errors. 

This is partly due to the complex and fragmented nature of the healthcare system. Many players are also involved in the billing and payment process, including insurance companies, healthcare providers, and patients. To solve these issues, the healthcare industry needs to adopt new technologies that simplify billing and payment and are more efficient.

Challenge #3: Lack of Price Transparency by Providers

Healthcare providers have traditionally been opaque about their prices, which has caused serious problems in the healthcare industry. As a result, patients often need help shopping for healthcare services, meaning they may pay more than they should. In addition, providers may need help to compete with one another on price, which can lead to higher prices for patients.

Several things can be done to solve these issues: 

  • Healthcare providers should make their prices available to the public. This will allow patients to compare prices and find the most suitable care options. 
  • Providers should compete on price to keep costs down. 
  • Patients should be proactive about shopping for healthcare services and comparing prices. 

Doing this can ensure that patients are getting the best value possible.

Challenge #4: Poor Patient Experiences

Another serious problem in the healthcare industry is poor patient experiences. Patients often have to wait long periods to speak to a care team member for support or to see a provider, and at times can be treated poorly by staff. Additionally, they may not feel as if their concerns are being adequately addressed. 

It is possible to resolve these issues in several ways. First, hospitals could invest in new technology, allowing patients to see doctors faster. 

Second, team members can be offered training on treating patients with respect and empathy. Finally, hospitals should create a system where patients can rate their experiences with various aspects of the hospital. 

Related: Virtual Triage Users Request Improved Access to Specialty Care Providers. Clearstep Delivers

Challenge #5: Payment Incentives Focus on the Wrong Outcomes

A few payment incentive structures in the healthcare industry can lead to the wrong outcomes. One example is fee-for-service, where providers are paid for each service they provide, regardless of the quality or effectiveness of that service. This can lead to the overuse of unnecessary services and increased costs. 

Another example is capitation, where providers are paid a set amount per patient, regardless of their services. In which, this can lead to the underuse of necessary services.

One way to fix these issues is to move away from these payment incentive structures and towards pay-for-performance or bundled payments, where providers are paid for the outcomes they achieve, not the itemized services they provide. Better health outcomes = win/win for patients and providers alike.

Another way to solve these issues is to emphasize value-based purchasing, where purchasers of healthcare services (insurance companies) pay for outcomes rather than services. As a result, providers can deliver the highest quality of care at a lower cost.

Related: Optimizing Digital Customer Experience: What Healthcare Consumers Really Want

Overcome Healthcare Challenges with Clearstep

Clearstep is an artificial intelligence AI chat healthcare assistant that can help combat several of the healthcare industry's most pressing  issues. By providing an easy-to-use and convenient interface, Clearstep enables patients to self-service access to clinical guidance,  communicate with their doctors easily, get real-time support, and access to essential information about their health. 

As a result, patient care can be enhanced, and healthcare costs can be reduced. Healthcare providers will enjoy notable efficiencies in end-to-end patient management and improved patient outcomes.

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