Looking Forward to 2022

Looking Forward to 2022

Jae ChunRight before the start of the new year, I stepped away from the holiday busy-ness  to reflect on 2021. What a year! As each memory ticked by, the overwhelming feeling of gratitude came over me, quickly followed by ‘chomping at the bit’ excitement for what’s coming this year. 

You can read more in this lengthy (for me!) LinkedIn post.

Launching Emergence Healthcare Group was a huge piece of the year. I’m more bullish than ever that we can support private practice physicians by giving them back the time stolen by having to run a small business - regulations, paperwork, electronic health records and back-office management.

I’m looking forward to an exciting year of healthcare innovation so that my family, friends, and all of us can more easily find quality and professionally-rewarded physicians who love their job because they can spend their time just being your doctor (again). No more stories about clinician burnout or the Great Resignation. 

Instead, here are just a few headlines and stories we expect to see from our efforts. Let us know what you see, please, and let us know what we can do to help.

Our 2022 Predictions Are In: True Innovations in Healthcare are More Important than Ever

2021 provided us with a glimpse of what is to come in the new year, bringing a renewed emphasis on the need for true innovation in the healthcare space to combat resignations, burnout, and healthcare consolidation. Not “innovation” that touts better algorithms or the latest app that is trying to squeeze water from a rock.

PREDICTION 1: New Healthcare Models Will Reverse Alarming Burnout and Resignation Trends  

Professionals across all sectors and levels are leaving their jobs at record numbers in a phenomenon called “The Great Resignation.” The medical profession shared the pain as thousands of brilliant clinical and non-clinical staff moved on.

Publications like MedScape say it’s not going to get better, as one in five doctors are considering leaving medicine altogether due to burnout and long hours. The authors of  Physician Burnout: Solutions for Individuals and Organizations (2021) say, “Burnout in medicine has become a national epidemic, affecting greater than one-third of physicians, and yet physicians, departments, and institutions remain ill-equipped to address it.”

We don’t believe physicians want to abandon a profession after a decade of academia and training, not to mention the sacrifice, sweat, tears, and money spent along the way.

We believe the only antidote to these trends lies in thoughtful ideas that are truly innovative, especially ones that help physicians get out from under the pressures of everything that gets in the way of caring for patients - like employer mandates and administrative tasks - so they can care for patients and enjoy being a doctor again.

PREDICTION 2: Alternative Practice Models Provide an Antidote to Healthcare Consolidation 

Healthcare consolidation has been quietly taking place over the last 20 years, and the Harvard Business Review predicts that this trend will accelerate.

Consolidation, combined with a host of economic factors, has sparked many private practice physicians to sell their practices, look for employment, or leave medicine altogether.

The COVID-19 pandemic intensified this trend, but analysis from Avalere Health points out that there was “... a particularly sharp uptick in the number of physician practices owned by non-hospital corporations — like insurers or private equity firms — between January 2019 and January 2021.” The article explains that less choice in the healthcare marketplace leads to higher costs and a lower quality of care.

Healthcare better serves doctors and patients when it’s local. Offering a viable alternative for physicians who want to remain in or start a private practice so they can practice where and when they want is our founding principle and leading inspiration.

PREDICTION 3: True Healthcare Innovation Will Be Expected

The two predictions above culminate in our third: the healthcare field has reached an inflection point, and true innovation will be expected in 2022 - from both physicians and patients. Doctors are looking for novel ways to practice medicine in systems that support better work experiences while allowing them to continue delivering high-quality care.

Patients have come to expect concierge-like experiences along with all the perks that come with it, just like they have come to expect in shopping, dining, and ordering experiences. They have become much savvier shoppers, including choosing their doctors online, making it even more important for physicians to have a solid digital presence in the coming year.

PREDICTION 4: Private Practice Will Become the De Facto Choice for Physicians

While employment offers a certain level of financial comfort, the benefits of private practice are bountiful. Greater flexibility and profitability — what we often hear are essential ingredients in professional satisfaction — are just two benefits.

Plus, an entrepreneurial sort can see an opportunity to pursue their own business since the number of physicians in private practice dropped below 50% for the first time in recent history recently. 

The key for us on the business side of medicine is to build programs to support and inspire physicians who are increasingly distracted and burnt out on the business of running a private practice, or those burnt out on being an at-will employee and looking to strike out on their own. 

We are taking the lessons from the past few years and putting them to good purpose while harnessing our momentum to kick off the Year of True Healthcare Innovation. 

Join us, and let’s change the world (of healthcare)!