Healthcare is a rapidly growing expense, weighing in at approximately $3.2 trillion in 2015. With its ever-expanding price, health care has become one of the country’s largest industries. Much of this expense comes from the number of people covered by healthcare with Medicare and Medicaid. With more people becoming eligible, the demand for services is rising which directly attributes to rising prices. Many people using healthcare lack the knowledge and resources to make smart decisions with their money. The public is uninformed about their treatment options and the costs associated with these options. With this problem, the need for patient engagement is showing itself.
The goal for patient engagement is to keep patients informed about their own health. Patient engagement doesn’t just take place in hospitals or physician offices, new technology such as phone apps and messaging platforms allow patients to discuss any health concerns with doctors in advance before scheduling an appointment. This is a strategy to keep people from spending unnecessary amounts of money on something that may be trivial.
Patient engagement is especially essential in a value based healthcare system. This system puts a focus on paying for the quality of care that you receive, rather than paying for each individual service. Such a method of payment puts much more responsibility on health care providers as they are paid for helping their patients recover and stay healthy. This structure is instrumental in lowering health care costs by cutting out unnecessary fees for treatments that ultimately serve no purpose in recovery measures. With value based care, it’s necessary for patient engagement to keep them updated on what’s going on and what treatment is meant to benefit their health. Both value based care and patient engagement are meant to change the traditional method of healthcare services to be more cost efficient and valuable.