Kaiser Permanente Chairman and CEO George Halvorson makes no bones about laying out the coming days of healthcare. According to FierceHealthcare, he is quoted in a New York Times profile forecasting “We think the future of healthcare is going to be rationing or re-engineering (and) key to re-engineering healthcare for greater efficiency is moving care away from the hospital setting.”
The FierceHealthcare article also cites a Forbes report stating that “more health systems are opening urgent care or outpatient clinics taking care outside hospital walls.”
Outpatient clinics and urgent care centers are emphasized as intermediary care venues between the home and hospital, as well as from the hospital to home.
“Through the clinics, the hospitals aim to improve care options and self-management skills after patients leave the hospital setting.”
Now, I don’t dabble in prognostication or stake claim to gifts of clairvoyance, but this just confirms the trajectory I sensed a few months ago when I wrote “the seeming shift of emphasis in healthcare (is) away from a hospital-centric model and toward a self-care paradigm; one which increasingly holds individuals personally responsible for their own health, wellness and well-being.” (See my November 27 post “Heal in Place.”)
All of this at least makes it safe to agree with Yogi Berra when it comes to hospitals and healthcare; “The future ain’t what it used to be.”