5 forces changing the game in GI

Laura Dyrda - Print  |

There are multiple disruptors in the gastroenterology field today. Some are making patient care better, while others will create roadblocks for years to come.

Here are five game-changers in GI, according to gastroenterologists.

1) Insurance companies are dictating covered services and medications. Coverage of specific therapies changes annually, which forces unnecessary pivots in treatment plans. Patients become frustrated because they can no longer access a medication that worked, and the changes can lead to hours of correspondence between providers and insurance companies to gain approval.

2) Digital smartphone apps to assist patients in directly communicating with providers. Some gastroenterologists believe when digital communication is supported by third party payment, there will be 24/7 access to cognitive, diagnostic and therapeutic care. Gastroenterologists and surgery centers stand to benefit by establishing referral relationships with digital platforms.

3) The COVID-19 pandemic and lack of standards around patient treatment during the pandemic is disrupting GI care. ASC owners and operators are debating the safest way to continue care with each new COVID-19 surge, testing standards for vaccinated patients and increased cancellation rates because patients are confused about what they need for care.

4) The cost of technology and data platforms for gastroenterologists and GI practices is going up, and will promote more consolidation. Larger groups can afford more sophisticated datasets that use artificial intelligence and machine learning to support real-time clinical decision-making, predictive analytics and outcomes data to lower the cost of care.

5) Endoscopic surgery is a new technology that makes a big difference in patient outcomes. Endoscopic robots may further enhance physicians' capabilities to perform effective procedures.

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