New perspectives on elderly care
27 June 2018
In this new BDO report we look at how different countries are employing new and innovative ways to support an ever increasing demand for value based elderly care. BDO understands the challenge of combining social duty with trying to achieve efficient operations. BDO’s sound advice and practical solutions help public and private organisations reach their goals with more substantial social impact.
BDO’s healthcare leaders offer their take on the investment trends that will transform elderly care
How can I get my organisation to work with a commercial approach whilst retaining social relevance? What can we do to increase the number of healthy life years? And, are we really investing in the best possible manner?
These are important questions, not unfamiliar to the public sector. Changing expectations in society, spending cuts, changes in regulations and developments in market forces continue to throw up new challenges and issues.
An unexpected turn - we are experiencing an exponential increase in the number of elderly, but they are not as healthy in old age as expected
Every day 10,000 people will turn 65 for the next 20 years. When producing the ‘New perspectives on elderly care’ report, BDO’s research team discovered a substantially greater ‘unhealthy life years’ figure than commonly accepted. Among the 10 countries included in BDO’s new report, the years an elderly person could spend in poor health can be as high as 12 (in the case of Germany). The finding goes contrary to the generally agreed belief that retirement is all ‘golden years’.
“The solution does not lie in just treating age-related health symptoms. Rather, it would be wise, considering all the challenges facing these countries, to start investing in methods, solutions and processes that ensure people age differently. It’s time to focus investment on prevention and rehabilitation"
Another avenue is to develop more attractive and more secure roles for multi-disciplinary professionals working collaboratively in providing more efficient care. BDO notes how technology can help mitigate the scarcity of professionals to take care of ageing people. Initiatives such as centrally-hosted and integrated care records can partially overcome this scarcity through improved information sharing and better investment of human resources and logistics.
Examples are telecare and telehealth, which will allow people to stay at home for longer and return home quicker after hospital dismissal. Artificial intelligence could further provide robot assistants to cope with workforce challenges.
Changes in reimbursement will bring about new business models for elderly care
Concluding, BDO emphasises that new business models and new types of investment will be needed for value-based elderly care, and that these will allow to focus efforts on prevention and rehabilitation as well as boost innovation. This goes hand in hand with substantial social investments which inevitably raise questions regarding the origin and size of the investments and the intended results.
Reflecting on this period of transition in health and elderly care, BDO’s Center for Healthcare Excellence & Innovation and our Global Public Sector team are looking towards the future to help governments, public and private organisations anticipate and plan for the challenges and opportunities ahead.