2022 Predictions

Our 2022 Predictions at Lightbeam Health Solutions

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At Lightbeam, we are excited as 2022 approaches because we know we will continue to help new and existing clients enhance the patient experience while maximizing healthcare savings. While many in the industry are experiencing staffing shortages and other issues, we believe that the future is bright, and we are here to help. As a leader in population health technology, we are focused on helping our clients keep patients healthy, not just treating them when they fall ill.

We asked our top subject matter experts what they predict for future of population health—and what changes across the industry might look like. 

Jerry Shultz
President at Lightbeam Health Solutions

“I see the convergence of three major factors in 2022 with a lot of tailwind behind them—all in an effort to help the country solve its healthcare spending and quality issues:

  • First is the changing relationships between physicians and patients. The 30-year doctor-patient relationship is fading. With younger people, healthcare is more consumer-focused and episodic. Recent studies suggest younger demographics prefer convenience over relationships, quality, and even brand.
  • Second, the generational shift to value-based care from fee-for-service will strengthen. More than half of CMS participants are now in value-based contracts, with commercial payer clients moving to VBC, too.
  • Finally, the continued emergence of technology and how patients engage with healthcare tech at home—recently dubbed the new point of care—and distanced with remote patient monitoring on the rise. However, as healthcare surveils thousands of patients at home, it creates new challenges with even more inbound data sources. We as an industry need to boil down this data, make sense of it, and make it actionable.”

“Important progress has been made this past year since the passage of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s (ONC) 21st Century Cures Act and other legislation. In 2022, I expect the mandates of Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) integration and APIs to be in full focus, as well as the conversation on a data-first approach to care and interoperability, which is key in driving better patient outcomes and positioning care at the forefront.

I believe interoperability is a starting point in the journey with healthcare data, which is growing exponentially and becoming more abundant as it is generated from consumer-driven technologies and sources. It is more important than ever to arm the healthcare ecosystem with technologies to ingest, enrich, and derive meaningful insights from big data to facilitate a proactive approach to care.”

Brian Russell
Director of Integration Services
at Lightbeam Health Solutions

Shelley Davis is the author of this article

Shelley Davis, MSN, RNC, CCM
VP of Clinical Strategy
at Lightbeam Health Solutions

“As we carry on in this long-term COVID state, I think we will see the surge of telehealth continue to take precedence in the value-based care model. However, the overuse of telehealth is threatening due to its quick emergence. In 2022, I expect to see focus put in place by value-based care organizations on how to manage this properly.

How will these organizations manage the higher threshold of patients who will engage with healthcare tech at home in 2022? The level of effort it takes for a patient to call the doctor’s office, make an appointment, take off work, and go to the doctor’s office—whether they drive their car, find a ride, or take public transportation—is far greater than the level of effort required to log on to your computer at home to meet with a physician. Not only will healthcare organizations need to manage the influx of patients digitally, but they will also be challenged with new inbound data sources, which could easily overload on top of staffing and burnout concerns. I see 2022 breeding a high level of industry innovation to cater to the technology we use not only at the point of care but in every aspect of the value-based care model.”

“Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies have matured over the past few years, and in 2022 it will start to take on a larger operational role in patient stratification and healthcare analytics. Due to new legislation, data will become more readily available, which will help accelerate the use of artificial intelligence/machine learning. Some healthcare costs were down when patients stayed home, but as people venture out into the wild again, payers and providers engaged in value-based care programs will need to get creative in managing the cost and utilization of their patients.”

 

Mike Hoxter

 Mike Hoxter
Chief Technology Officer
at Lightbeam Health Solutions

Jessica Scruton, BSN, RN, CCM
VP of Clinical Transformation
at Lightbeam Health Solutions

“In 2022, I think there’s going to be a larger focus on providers and provider burnout than what we have seen in the past. This year we have felt the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it influenced healthcare staffing shortages and burnout, particularly due to the growing number of administrative tasks from high patient demand for services mixed with staffing numbers at an all-time low. But next year, this will be of a greater scale. With the amount of administrative work required by care teams, it is important the industry focuses on understanding the burden of additions and their role in building and maintaining efficient care models. Additional administrative tasks eat up valuable clinician time that could be spent on providing quality care to patients, so it is of utmost importance we focus on the right technology that supports care coordination and facilitates a reasonable workload.”

“As we wind down 2021, one thing is crystal clear: COVID is not behind us as some predicted and all of us hoped. As an industry, we continue to rise to the challenge of caring for affected patients; advocating for following the science when it comes to masks, vaccines, and treatments; and doing all we can to keep up with the entire population’s needs. But of course, those are not predictions; those are facts. So, from the standpoint of what we might expect to see from 2022, here are a few thoughts:

As legislated in the 21st Century Cures Act, advances in interoperability will start to provide significant value across the care continuum. Specifically, the implementation of the Bulk FHIR standard, which is required by the end of 2022, will greatly enhance the ability to aggregate, analyze, and operationalize population-level clinical data. This advancement could not come at a better time as the march to risk will continue to through programs like Direct Contracting, Primary Care First, and through the growth of Managed Medicaid and the expansion of commercial at-risk models.”

Kent Locklear MD, MBA
Chief Medical Officer
at Lightbeam Health Solutions

Bottom Line: With the 21st Century Cures Act’s passing, emphasis on data is more important than ever. Telehealth, machine learning/artificial intelligence, and remote patient monitoring will play significant roles as we continue to advance the healthcare IT sector. As we come into 2022, Lightbeam is excited to grow as a company and continue expanding our services to support our clients in innovative ways.

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