BY KATHRYN MAYER
- Many needs, many models. This scenario is a natural extension of health care as many Americans know it. The scenario forecasts a shortage of primary care physicians, increased emphasis on disease prevention, growth in electronic medical recordkeeping, a shift from employee-based insurance to health insurance exchanges, and growing disparities in access to and quality of primary care based on income and where people live.
- Lost decade, lost health. This scenario forecasts a shortage of primary care physicians, declining income for practicing physicians and more uninsured patients, some of whom resort to black market care and unreliable online advice. Patients with good insurance have access to great care enhanced by advanced technology
- Primary care that works for all. This scenario assumes nearly universal health care coverage, with 85 percent of patients using integrated systems staffed by collaborative teams of health care providers, including physician assistants, nurse practitioners and health coaches who work closely with patients. Seeking to provide better care at lower cost while improving the health of the population they serve, primary care teams join with community partners to address factors that affect a community’s health, including employment, educational attainment, housing, transportation, and access to fruits and vegetables.
- Consumer is boss. Under this scenario, four of 10 patients opt for consumer-directed health plans, which include catastrophic insurance with high deductibles. For the most part, savvy consumers use advanced technologies, including noninvasive bio-monitors, as well as wellness and disease management apps, to stay healthy. Large vendors offer free avatar-based health coaching to consumers who purchase other integrated health products and services. Consumers shop for the best doctor and buy on the basis of high quality and low price.