Only a few days into 2022, it seems obvious that many predicted “trends to watch” floated in late 2021 won’t, in fact, be what will matter most in this critical year for health care. Not that these issues aren’t important, but they are not new (if you’ve been paying attention and, hopefully, planning your strategies). The major predictions are underwhelming:
- Telemedicine and other types of virtual care will continue to advance.
- Digitization of health care for consumers will disrupt traditional channels of information and engagement.
- There will be more collaborations and blurred lines between payers and providers, and even more consolidation among health care networks themselves.
- Health equity and behavioral health will propel changes in coverage, technology, services, and collaborations.
These trends will continue to unfold, whether or not you are watching. What providers really need in 2022, however, are the signals of what is to come as we transition health care toward greater accountability—under worse economic circumstances.
Perhaps these unremarkable predictions about health care in 2022 have been simply upstaged once again by COVID-19, the ultimate disruptor for futurists. But in fact, here’s another prediction circulating: Value-Based Care will be sidelined in 2022, as regulators try to relieve stressed-out providers. And here’s why that prediction is both remarkable and misleading.