Seth Whitmer Highlights 3 Changes to the Healthcare System as the Population Ages

Introduce models of care delivery that serve patients and lower costs.

Per estimates from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, national health expenditures as a percentage of GDP will climb from 15 percent in 2016 to 19.4 percent of GDP (or about $ 6 trillion) in 2027. And while caring for seniors in hospitals, community healthcare facilities, and in homes will not be responsible for the totality of the increase, it will doubtlessly be a major driving force. As such, innovating new and better models of care delivery that serve patients and lower costs — not the former while neglecting the latter — is not just an aspiration, but it is an obligation.

Hire, train, support (and repeat).

There is an alarming lack of geriatricians, nurses, social workers, and public health professionals working in eldercare — which is not only creating severe and, in some cases, unacceptable risk to patients, but is overwhelming current staffing rosters and triggering widespread burnout. Unfortunately, many of the qualified and trained healthcare professionals who disengage from eldercare do not return; not because they do not care deeply and personally about helping seniors or supporting their colleagues, but because they (and their families) cannot shoulder the crushing burden.

Invest in public health education targeting seniors.

The axiom in healthcare remains that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” To that end, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and businesses demonstrating that they are good and responsible corporate citizens, all need to work together to support public health education programs and campaigns that target seniors covering everything from the importance of nutritious eating and oral hygiene, to the value of volunteering and group membership.

Seth Whitmer and the Bottom Line

While some predictions are speculative — such as whether a stock price will rise in value, or whether a political party will retain or cede power in the next election — the fact that the population is aging is not a guesstimate: it is a foregone conclusion. This means that the healthcare system must adjust now, in order to ensure that it is ready, willing and able to meet the needs of today and tomorrow; not just for seniors, but indeed, for all patients, along with those who care for them on the front lines and behind-the-scenes.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Seth Whitmer

Seth Whitmer

7 Followers

Hiram Seth Whitmer is a visionary leader and influencer with a passion for executing the complete turnaround of healthcare organizations