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Community Healthcare Trends to Watch Out for in 2023

What trends will affect the community healthcare field in 2023? We cover service integrations, finances, the recession, and more.

If you’ve heard the expression, “the only constant is change,” you might be prepared for another change-filled year in the community healthcare field. Since COVID, it seems like the changes in our field have accelerated, from the rise of telemedicine as an accepted best practice to increased consumerism. As we near the second quarter of 2023 what can we look for the rest of the year? In this blog, we’ll tackle three big trends affecting FQHCs:

  1. Increasing integration of primary care and behavioral health.
  2. The recession, venture capital money, Medicare reimbursement cuts, and operating margins.
  3. Digital first patients and increasing consumerism.

Here’s what you need to know to strategize your way through 2023.

Integration of Primary Care and Behavioral Health

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is certainly focused on a primary care and behavioral health integration movement. They are pushing care coordination, citing it as a method for advancing equity and expanding access to care. The goal is to eliminate silos between these two areas of healthcare and bring parity in reimbursement to the forefront of CMS policy.

This trend is important for FQHCs to monitor closely, given that reimbursement will likely change to accommodate this approach. Certainly, primary care providers plan an essential role in treating behavioral health disorders. Integrating care delivery between primary and behavioral health could eliminate some stigma associated with substance abuse and brain disorders. Since CMS is a government organization subject to politics, we will watch this trend closely.

The Economic Outlook: Recession, Venture Capital, Medicare Reimbursement, and More

If we’re talking about the economy as a trend affecting FQHCs, we are living in “interesting” times. Even as the country teeters on recession, we see venture capital money drying up for health tech startups. Thousands of tech workers are currently laid off (which is an opportunity for community health organizations looking for IT talent). At the same time, one venture capital firm just opened a $670 million healthcare fund, which launched into a market where CMS just decreased doctor reimbursements (again). But things are tough all over; healthcare bankruptcies increased by 84% in 2022, and more are predicted this year.

Perhaps ironically, for the FQHC community, polls show declining trust in the public’s attitude toward the efficiency of our nation’s health systems. HFMA says, “The majority think it is expensive, complicated, too focused on profits and wasteful.” The poor and underserved have always been a political football, but public distrust of the industry may have an impact this year. The good news? HFMA predicts Congress will extend a temporary 3% Medicare payment increase for doctors through the end of the year.

Digital First Mandates from Consumers

Digital first consumerism in healthcare isn’t a new trend. There is increasing competition in the private healthcare sector, but even FQHCs are affected by these trends. Digital first consumers will affect your facility this year through:

  • Increasing demand for online services. This demand includes online patient portals and telemedicine.
  • Changing patient expectations, including more convenient, accessible services.
  • Improving patient engagement, allowing clinicians to reach patients where they live—on their cellphones.

Looking to the Future with UHC Solutions

FQHCs must continue to adapt to these and other challenging industry trends. UCH Solutions will be here to help you find the clinical, administrative, and operational talent you need to stay ahead of the curve. Call on us to find out how we can help your organization.


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Unlock the Latest Salary Trends in Community Healthcare

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