The healthcare field is gaining reputation as an emerging hotbed for entrepreneurs. The new legislation is opening up several areas of opportunities, possible gold mines, so to speak, which entrepreneurs can take advantage of and potentially succeed. Some of these opportunities are projected to come from Health IT, clinical areas, preventative care, concierge medicine and domestic medical tourism.
With the healthcare reform, there is a call for adoption of EHR or electronic health records to curb the mounting healthcare costs in the United States. The shift from paper-based medical recording to EHRs stemmed from the numerous benefits of Health IT. With Health IT, healthcare providers will be able to get reliable and comprehensive information on a patient’s health and coordinate with each other, which will consequently result to quality care, regardless of whether a patient’s visit is a medical emergency or routine. Patients and their caregivers will have convenient access to information, and as such, they will be able to take part in making decisions involving their health. With accessible health records, doctors can provide accurate diagnosis in a timely manner, which then results to a reduction in medical errors and safer care at a lower total cost.
The current healthcare industry and its mounting reliance on information technology to progress, in terms of the quality of medical treatment delivery and other various aspects of healthcare, are creating considerable amount of opportunities for entrepreneurs. New initiatives, such as those related to systems that allow healthcare professionals interact with one another online, share health information in a secure manner and access complete and accurate information in regards to a patient’s health, are creating needs among potential customers. Companies that specialize in providing electronic health records will see a climb on their profits. Startup activities on young firms offering web-based health monitoring services are expected to surge. Entrepreneurs, armed with the intellectual capital to create more sophisticated and advanced EHRs and online health monitoring services, are likely to find themselves at a lucrative advantage. Innovators, who can leverage technology to provide doctors the ability to deliver quality care to patients in non-traditional settings, are sure to see a lot of profitable years ahead of them.
With payment reforms muscling its way through, companies are starting to get paid more on outcomes and quality instead of the quantity of transactions. Entrepreneurs with foresight will see this as an opportunity to create products and services geared towards providing patient care in an efficient and quality manner.
Entrepreneurial opportunities will not just abound on creating new programs or systems for electronic health recordings. The nationwide adoption of EHR is a huge initiative. With half a million physicians not familiar with electronic recording, the program will also open opportunities for entrepreneurs or innovators, who will be able to provide training and support to healthcare providers, in terms of executing the new program or system and in making the transition to electronic recording easier.
Clinical Areas and Preventative Care
In clinical areas, there is always a need for innovative machines and technologies in every operating room or doctor’s office. The need for products specifically designed to assist healthcare providers treat their patients in this current digital age are projected to be at an all time high. Imagine how convenient it will be for providers to monitor their patients remotely through sensors and have the data transmitted to their mobile device.
Rising costs associated with treating patients within hospitals are creating opportunities for entrepreneurs in the field of preventative care. With millions of dollars in incentives and a wide range of federal funding, nurse care facilities or nurse-managed clinics should be a potentially lucrative business for entrepreneurs.
Healthcare reform will make healthcare insurance more accessible to people, regardless of income. With more people with access to insurance, it is forecasted that access to care in a timely manner is going to be harder than ever. However, although it is required that all Americans have insurance, it is not a requirement for physicians to accept it. As the number of insured patients swarming waiting rooms continue to mount, more and more medical entrepreneurs are expected to leave traditional medical practice, to pursue a more profitable venture–concierge medicine.
Concierge care is another booming health trend prompted by healthcare reform laws. In concierge or boutique medicine, doctors are able to provide on-call medical care, same-day appointments and house calls among others. In order to provide this level of VIP care, doctors in a concierge medicine practice usually limit their patients to 200, and each of those patients pay an annual membership fee. More and more people, especially the aging baby boomers are expected to be willing to pay out-of-pocket expenses in order to avoid going through long waits to get an appointment or long waits in the waiting room.
Domestic Medical Tourism
There is a growing number of insurers and employers who are offering financial incentives as a way to incentivize workers to consider domestic medical travel in exchange for high quality treatment at low cost. Employers are negotiating with medical providers for a single rate on bundled medical care. This stems from several companies’ awareness that medical qualities and costs can differ in such a dramatic manner between hospitals. This opens a lot of entrepreneurial opportunities for medical firms to come up with competitive domestic travel programs to the country’s top employers. A competitive healthcare industry could help improve quality and drive down costs.
Kimberly is an internet researcher, writer, and contributor at entrepreneurweek.com blog network. She may be reached at email@example.com.
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