Businesses have had a challenging start to this decade, with nearly three years of COVID-19 and two years of high inflation, among other disruptions. With one survey of economists estimating a 70% chance of recession this year (Bloomberg), 2023 is looking to be another demanding year. For major sectors like healthcare, businesses will need to be prepared by staying on top of industry trends.
Three Trends for Healthcare Companies in 2023
Navigating Inflated Healthcare Costs
Even though inflation has been high, health insurance costs have risen even faster. Health insurance prices were up a whopping 28% last September compared with the previous year (Deloitte). In the same period, wages only increased 5.1% (BLS). So, it’s safe to say that healthcare affordability has dropped significantly for the average American coming into 2023. Some consumers may face the difficult choice of reducing their healthcare spending, even though doing so can negatively impact their health and potentially lead to expensive emergency care down the road (Deloitte).
To improve health outcomes and control costs for patients, one healthcare trend we can expect is investment in new technologies such as telehealth. Telehealth gives patients more flexibility in receiving care and is generally less costly than in-person treatment (McKinsey).
Another strategy is to increase outreach to healthcare consumers to help them get care more efficiently. Improving the success rates of appointment reminders, health risk assessments, comprehensive medication reviews, and other proactive strategies can lead to better health outcomes and an improved bottom line (UMass Chan Medical School). Increased outreach also has additional benefits for brands — more on that later.
Expanding Use of Automation and AI
Telehealth is just one example of a technology that will grow in 2023. Automation can vastly improve efficiency for processing claims, taking payments, and managing policies, and other operations (Omnia Health). Although most large healthcare enterprises already use some level of automation, there’s still room for growth and disruption in this area.
Another growth area for technology is the use of AI for data analytics. By vastly increasing the speed and volume of insights about healthcare consumers, AI allows companies to predict behavior, efficiently triage claims, and ultimately reduce risk (Omnia Health).
Investing in Customer Experience
While cutting costs can be a wise move during hard economic times, it’s important to continue investing in the “good costs” that can protect and grow your business. In particular, enterprises should continue to invest in top-notch customer experience in 2023.
In a study by PwC, consumers rated speed, convenience, helpful employees, and friendly service at over 70% on a scale of importance for their experience with a brand. A full 32% of people said they will leave a brand they love after even a single bad experience (PwC). Talk about a tough crowd! If a bad experience drives someone away from your brand, keep in mind that acquiring a new customer can cost five to 25 times as much as simply retaining them in the first place (Harvard Business Review).
For healthcare companies concerned about Medicare and Medicaid star ratings, the importance of customer and patient experience is even more clear. That’s because the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) heavily weights Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) surveys when awarding star ratings. Starting in in 2021, patient experience accounts for about one-third of a healthcare provider’s overall star rating (PSQH). With all the above in mind, it just makes financial sense to invest in customer experience, even during recessions.
Find an Outreach Partner
Drips has helped multiple Fortune 500 healthcare companies implement AI-powered conversational outreach to improve customer experience and promote better health outcomes — all without increasing call center staff. If you’re looking for a partner to help you grow in 2023, we’d love to hear more about your needs.