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Offering the healthcare industry a ten-year view of healthcare developments in primary care, behavioral health, and more. Trilliant, a healthcare analytics company, studied over 1,500 hospitals by gathering data from their exclusive all-payer claims information system. Trilliant has produced a 146-page report highlighting some surprising healthcare trends in affordability, telehealth primary care, and the changing competitive landscape.
Lackluster Demand for Primary Care
US primary care has trended below average for the last two years. At the end of quarter one of 2022, it was only 0.2% higher than in 2019. This is despite a 31% increase in urgent care volumes over the pandemic. According to Trilliant projections, primary care will only increase by a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 1.7% from 2022 to 2026. The reduced volumes resulted from excess deaths. COVID-19-related missed consultations and population movements with a vast movement of older people to the Sun Belt.
Many people also avoided health screenings during the pandemic. According to the Trilliant report, consumer trust in physicians dropped by 23% and hospitals by 21% between April 2020 and December 2021. Still, women have started to return to traditional healthcare in significant numbers. During the first quarter of 2022, women’s healthcare had risen by 0.2% compared to the same period in 2019. Women’s behavioral health services were up 26%, and routine healthcare for women increased by 31.6%.
Retail Competition from Amazon, Walmart & CVS
Several large and established retailers, including Amazon, Walmart, and CVS, have entered healthcare markets over the last few years. With their customer bases, these companies represent a significant competitive threat to traditional healthcare companies. According to the Trilliant report, the retailers will also face intense competition.
Telehealth Primary Care Impacted
Over the last two years, the overall downturn in primary care utilization has also impacted telehealth primary care. However, the bright spot for behavioral telehealth practitioners is that behavioral health accounts for most telehealth utilization. More specifically, in the first three months of 2019, 32.4% of telehealth visits were for behavioral health. By the same period in 2022, 59.9% of telehealth visits were behavioral health-related. Telemedicine is also up. In 2020 and 2021, telehealth prescriptions for depression and anxiety make up around 35% of all medications compared to 1% in 2019.
Telehealth primary care services will continue to feel the pressure of increasing supply and reductions in demand soon. Still, 9.8% of physicians resigned during the pandemic, while 7.8% started practices, exacerbating physician shortages. Telehealth primary care could help to overcome healthcare worker shortages in the future.
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Nice to read it. Thanks!