According to Plunkett Research, the American health care industry is facing more challenges than ever. The research group cites the effect of the 2010 Healthcare Reform, the financial burden of employers who cover employee health care expenses, and physicians’ malpractice insurance fees as contributors to the heavy stress on the system. Hospitals will surely feel the pinch of insurance problems, pharmaceutical industry losses, and physicians’ expenses, among other healthcare system obstacles. Beyond those peripheral pressures, hospitals have to prepare for one of the leading approaching stressors: the aging of the U.S. population.
In 2011, 76 million of America’s surviving Baby Boomers began to turn 65. Healthcare advances have increased life expectancy to age 75.6 for men, and 80.8 for women. Medicare, which covered 47.4 million seniors in 2010, will cover 78 million people in 2030. The massive numbers of aging Americans, combined with their extended life expectancy, equals a growing strain on hospitals.
Many Americans reach a ripe old age without needing significant hospital visits, but statistically, an older population has greater healthcare needs. Based on sheer numbers, hospitals can anticipate a rising need for their services. They will need to provide more outpatient procedures, more inpatient stays, and more emergency room treatments. They will have to have more staff, more supplies, and more available rooms.
Forward-thinking hospitals should be planning now for the near future. Hospitals that want to respond to the needs of their patients with the highest level of care have to construct the right facilities. The great wave of Baby Boomers is an informed group that demands proper treatment. In order to become the first choice of patients, hospitals need comfortable, spacious, hygienic and updated rooms.
Healthcare is a business, and only profitable healthcare institutions can give their patients what they need. Nisan Gertz Associates provides facility related solutions that reflect its understanding of the business of healthcare. Expanding sensibly, with intelligent design and construction, will give hospitals the edge they need to face the future of healthcare. Especially during this financially challenging period, hospitals cannot afford to invest in capital projects which will not provide proper returns.
Wishing you a happy, healthy and profitable 2012!