February 27, 2024

special report

The Future of Healthcare

Forget Obamacare -- here are the trends reshaping healthcare in Florida.

Changes in the nation’s healthcare system didn’t start — and won’t end — with the passage of legislation at the federal level. Indeed, the legislation, for all its impact, in many respects embodied the trends rather than created them.

In this issue, Florida Trend captures the way healthcare is evolving outside its political context — the changes and innovations that are redefining the system.

Most broadly, the articles that follow document three major areas of change playing out in Florida:

» Integration of care — The industry, finally, is modernizing its operations. Full electronic records will arrive slowly but will come to define the system and will be used to coordinate care, track outcomes and benchmark quality. Patients will experience the system less as a series of encounters with disconnected medical practitioners. All aspects of a patient’s care will be coordinated by a lead physician or “medical home.” Wellness and preventive care will become even more important in the integrated world. Payments to providers will be bundled to cover one medical event or condition rather than paying for every test and procedure individually. In the new world of healthcare, information technology firms may see the most opportunity of all.

» Consolidation — As fee-for-service dies, suppliers will have to merge and consolidate their operations to survive. Fewer doctors will work in private practice, more on the staffs of hospitals and other care-providing organizations.

» Innovation — New providers. New approaches to insurance. New approaches to developing drugs. Tools for patients that put them in touch with the cost of their treatment, and with the best providers.

Florida's Health Statistics

How Florida Stacks Up

» Florida faces the third-largest physician shortage in the nation and will need 63% more primary care physicians within 10 years to avoid a shortage in that field.

» No. 27 — Florida’s rank in the number of physicians per 100,000 population; the state ranks 33rd in the ratio of primary care physicians per 100,000 residents.

» No. 1 — Rank in average malpractice premiums paid by physicians

» No. 1 — Rank on the U.S. Tort Liability Index

» No. 50 — Rank in citizens’ access to emergency care

» No. 1 — Florida’s rank in the ratio of residents over 65

» No. 2 — Florida’s rank in the number of residents covered by Medicare

» No. 3 — Florida’s rank in the number and percentage of uninsured

» No. 48 — Adults over 65 who received a flu shot; 64.7% vs. U.S. average of 72%

» No. 40 — Adults with no regular moderate physical activity; 52.7% vs. U.S. average of 50.5%

» No. 38 — Incidence of lung cancer; 73.9 per 100,000 vs. U.S. average of 67.4

» No. 1 — Adults who have been told by a doctor they have asthma; 6.2% vs. U.S. average of 8.4%

» No. 48 — AIDS cases reported; 27.3 per 100,000 vs. U.S. average of 12.9

» No. 50 — HIV/AIDS death rate; 9.7 per 100,000 vs. U.S. average of 4.2

The Cost Factor

» Between 1997 and 2006, the percentage of Florida residents who did not get medical care during the previous year because of cost rose from 5.8% to 7.1% — the third-highest among the 25 largest states.

» The percentage of Florida residents who delayed medical care because of cost rose during that period from 8.7% to 10% — the third-highest rate among the 25 largest states.

Sources: Florida Medical Association, 2008 report, The Economic Impact of Private Physician’s Offices in Florida; CDC/NCHS, National Health Interview Survey; Florida CHARTS

Tags: Politics & Law, Government/Politics & Law, Healthcare

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