As we published in past articles, there have been exciting innovations in healthcare. The Covid-19 pandemic triggered a fast-forward wave of innovations in the medical field. So why does it seem like the gap between the desire for innovation and actual implementation is widening? Virtual care is more widely accepted years ahead of the projected implementation schedule prior to the pandemic lockdown. Congress is considering whether Medicare will continue paying for telehealth services beyond the emergency declaration.
Reimbursement Policies Unfriendly to Innovations in Healthcare
For over a decade healthcare facilities were limited to pay-as-you-go services for telehealth and other unsupported services. This approach rewards individuals who execute individual treatments, but doesn’t support well-integrated systems. Congressional approval for Medicare to continue to pay for teleservices after the emergency declaration expires could improve implementation. It could also speed up upgrading systems to ease better collaboration in inpatient treatment. Better reimbursement policies could enable more innovations in medicine, sooner.
Insufficient Funding for the Development of Innovations in Healthcare
There is a long investment period needed for new therapies or drugs requiring FDA approval. Funding involves figuring out who will pay for the product or service the research develops. With soaring U.S. healthcare costs, Investors are trying to decide the value of R&D investment for innovations in healthcare.
Healthcare acknowledges the need for more agile collaboration platforms to meet urgent healthcare needs. Unfortunately, even today, many hospitals are still using a fragmented mix of digital and analog tools. From workflow to communication tools, from emails to paper calendars, the shortcomings are becoming painful obstacles in the path of innovation.
The Right Human Resources to Drive Innovations in Healthcare
With an already stressed medical field, taking the time to learn new systems is an impossibly frustrating task. As an aging workforce retires, it‘s increasingly difficult to find the right talent to continue the development of innovations in healthcare. PX3 Medical Staffing works with medical talent on a regular basis. Looking for the right specialist is streamlined with the right help. Contact PX3 Medical to find more qualified candidates for your needs.
Technological Innovation Could Overwhelm Federal Agencies
So many areas of innovation are exploding. There is tissue engineering, genomics, proteomics, a private sector investment, and other therapies developing. All of these need regulatory approval and neither the house nor the senate can keep up with the need. In short, the flow of innovation is going to stress the regulatory system beyond its ability to keep up.
Before there is any hope of keeping up, the regulatory agencies’ knowledge base will need broadening. A medical center may understand the multiple therapies used in practice, but a senator is unlikely to. The resulting regulations are unlikely to be safe or useful. Entire new policies to regulate biologics are essential to safely regulate highly targeted products. These are not your standard drugs, and the economic structures have significantly different economic ramifications. More knowledge is important to develop the right regulations.
Hospital Innovation leaders list inaction as the biggest threat to innovations in healthcare. Covid pushed several new practices to the forefront. Unfortunately, financial concerns and fear of failure could stop the momentum cold. If hospitals don’t continue to push for new treatment and technology acceptance, innovation will stall out. This is not entirely in the hands of medical organizations. The acceptance needs to happen at the legislative level, so the movement will continue onward.