Filed Under: Health Economics | NICU | Tips, Guides, & Trends

In 2021, Five Health Trends to Watch

In 2021, our healthcare system will face tremendous challenges but achieve promising breakthroughs. These shifts will profoundly affect the NICU families and clients we serve.

Learn more about how these five leading trends will impact your business in our 2021 brief:

  1. Increases in Medicaid enrollment will force growing pains.
    Before the pandemic, 40 states with managed Medicaid saw a 1.3 percent decline in enrollment. The advent of COVID quickly created a surge in demand. In 2021, Medicaid plans will see a surge of enrollment amid reduced state revenues. Commercial plans will also suffer as continued layoffs reduce membership.
  2. Payers will increasingly turn to local partners as they consider Social Determinants of Health.
    Health plans will not be able to do this in isolation. Leveraging partnerships with organizations like specialized partners with built-in solutions that address social determinants will be paramount in 2021.
  3. Health inequities will further strain the system.
    Health organizations don’t wield government power, yet they will recognize the significant role they must play in achieving health equity by addressing disparities at the point of care. 
  4. Increased focus on maternal and fetal health will reduce preterm risks.
    After a decline in preterm birth rates from 2007 to 2014, preterm births rose for the fifth year in a row in 2019. One in ten babies (10%) was born too early in the United States. Research shows that expanding programs to support maternal and fetal health is the best route to healthy pregnancies. Expect further Medicaid expansion and an Action Plan from HHS to make a difference
  5. Artificial intelligence reaches its tipping point in healthcare.
    AI continues to improve productivity and clinical decision-making across the healthcare industry. Expect organizations to increasingly implement AI to detect and fix problems before they happen. Hospitals may be able to grow revenues by millions of dollars through AI-enhancements to the clinician’s job. 

Underlying these trends, the ongoing COVID pandemic and its aftermath will continue to shape healthcare as COVID-related symptoms become a new, expensive chronic condition.

Download the full brief

NICU Care at the Leading Edge, Trends for 2021