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The new state of health care and why it matters to you

A skeleton who wants updates on health care 2019

Health care is changing in 2019, just as it did in the years before it.

But this year, rapidly-changing health care insurance market rules and adjustments alongside healthcare industry changes may make 2019 even more eventful.

Keep reading to find out more about some of the
upcoming trends to watch for this year. If you’re wondering how to approach
2019’s wellness fads, we can help with that, too.

ACA changes possible

While nothing is set in stone quite yet, it’s possible Affordable Care Act (ACA) changes are on the horizon. A federal judge in Texas ruled it unconstitutional in December 2018, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens to the landmark health care legislation signed during the Obama administration in order to make several systemic changes to how health insurance and healthcare works.

In practice, this could mean changes to the
state-based health insurance exchanges. For 2019, though, this doesn’t change
insurance plans already in place, and we don’t know what (if any) changes to
anticipate quite yet.

CMS did report a smaller ACA enrollment for
2019 health insurance plans, which could be the result of a variety of factors,
including everything from less promotion during open enrollment to a stronger
jobs market resulting in fewer uninsured people shopping for coverage.

For your practice, this could mean insurance
changes for some of your patients. As always, it’s a good idea to start the
year by asking patients if anything about their insurance has changed for 2019.

Growing role of technology as industries blur together

Just about every year these days, lots of observers end up talking about the growing role of technology in health care. 2019 is no different. Technology is here to stay and technological change is once again making a splash in health care for another new year.

In 2019, expect to hear even more about technology’s impact in health care. Wearables of many different kinds continue to hit the market, insurance companies push for more telehealth options, and technology companies start to enter the industry in meaningful ways.

Chiropractors should keep an eye on growing
technology trends, and consider how they will answer patient questions about
important technologies on the horizon.

Keeping wellness trends in view

As we go through the year, health and wellness
trends will continue to pop onto the radar of chiropractors everywhere.
Undoubtedly, 2019 will have some interesting ones just like previous years did.

Sometimes, it can be hard to take some of the more bizarre trends seriously. We won’t name names, but some wellness trends such as popular diets, new superfoods, or interesting exercises may seem more fad than functional. If you’re wondering how to respond to new trends, you’re not alone. Social media, fake news sites, and rouge online ads are other sources of questionable Internet health fads.

Often, new wellness trends can be used to help
you reach patients with accurate health information or provide suggestions for
how to improve their own fitness. Here are a few ideas for how to respond to
new trends:

  • Make it an event: Whether or not the trend is beneficial, you can use it to educate patients and the community about health. For instance, take a negative trend you notice and hold a community talk or lecture about it at your office. A free event with information can help patients make sense of what they’re hearing about on social media or from magazines.
  • Come up with your own take: Have a response ready for when people ask you for your opinion. If it’s a new diet and you think it’ll be beneficial, maybe consider having a recipe or two to share on your social media or in the office. If it’s a terrible diet idea, then suggest an alternative—people may be more receptive if you offer them something else to follow.
  • Share online: Popular health trends make for great controversial topics to generate discussion and interest on your social media page. If you want share-worthy content, try posting or sharing your perspective online.
  • Refute it: Find a cringe-worthy trend you wish would just go away? Maybe your patients would be interested in knowing the true, research-supported reasons why it’s bad.

In all honesty, your patients need you to be a
voice on today’s health trends. Your perspective can help them improve their
health and avoid wasting money on something that may not really help.

Weighing-in on 2019

Now that we’re in a new year, it’s a good idea to
take stock of the upcoming trends and figure out what we need to do if we want
to improve our businesses. It’s time to review what we’re doing and be prepared
for the changes we need to make.

Make this a positive year for your business and
get ready for good things to come your way in then next 12 months—by working
hard, you can improve the likelihood that 2019 can be your best year yet.

Sources

Das, R. “Top 8 Healthcare Predictions for 2019.” Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/reenitadas/2018/11/13/top-8-healthcare-predictions-for-2019/#66bfc42b700e. Published: November 2018. Accessed: January 2019.
Luhby, T. et al. “Federal judge in Texas strikes down Affordable Care Act.” CNN Politics. https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/14/politics/texas-aca-lawsuit/index.html. Published: December 2018. Accessed: January 2019.
Gooch, K. “ACA plan enrollment declines to 8.5 million people.” Becker’s Hospital Review. https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/payer-issues/aca-plan-enrollment-declines-to-8-5-million-people.html. Published: December 2018. Accessed: January 2019.

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