What U.S. Healthcare Will Look Like in 2032

Richard E. Anderson, MD, FACP, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Doctors Company and TDC Group

Executive Summary

Now that so many aspects of the U.S. healthcare system have been tested by near-battlefield conditions, we can see the emerging risks and opportunities that have developed over nearly two years of disruption.

On one hand, despite extraordinarily trying circumstances, those on our clinical frontlines have delivered some of the finest hours of contemporary medicine, finding new and innovative ways to deliver care to millions of patients despite distancing restrictions and life-threatening conditions. Decades of investment in the digitization of medicine have accelerated the adoption of remote, personalized care, leading to massive investments in medicine by new corporate entrants. Concurrently, medical science has countered the existential threat of a global pandemic fueled by a new and terrifying virus by creating a vaccine and delivering billions of doses—all in a year—while continuing to push toward worldwide adoption.

On the other hand, in 2020 we experienced more than 500,000 excess deaths caused by delayed, deferred, or disrupted care for patients with non-COVID illness, and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is predicting thousands of additional deaths over the next decade caused by postponed or canceled checkups and cancer screenings in 2020.

The pandemic has also unearthed serious fault lines in American healthcare. Access to care, health equity, health literacy, and an epidemic of health misinformation were all shown to be life-and-death issues unresolved in this country.

What Will Healthcare Look Like in a Decade?

As we look forward at TDC Group, we are discussing healthcare over the next decade while focusing on trends, challenges, key lessons, and emerging risks.

We remain committed to serving those who provide care by delivering insights into the evolution of healthcare to help guide the actions of medical leaders making critical decisions. This examination, though certainly not exhaustive, lays out some of the most pressing issues medical professionals must address as we look ahead.

The following are our top 10 predictions for how U.S. healthcare will change over the next 10 years.

  1. Most medical history forms will include questions about COVID-19, as its longtail effects will still linger over all aspects of medicine.
  2. Postponements of care during COVID-19 may be followed by delayed diagnoses of cancer and other major diseases.
  3. The cost of healthcare will continue to rise—and continue to be a critical issue—despite the increasing prevalence of value-based care models.
  4. Healthcare providers will become more consumer oriented in response to large non-legacy corporate entities playing a greater role in delivering care.
  5. Advanced practice clinicians (APCs) will become the primary care providers for many Americans, reserving MDs and DOs for complex cases.
  6. Digital advances, including wearable technologies, will account for more than half of global healthcare investment.
  7. Most systems for electronic healthcare records (EHRs) will be interoperable, enabling data to move as a patient moves—without the Herculean lifts often currently required to make systems work together.
  8. Critical progress in data integration will bring about major improvements in healthcare.
  9. Healthcare providers will find it easier to treat patients across state lines via telehealth, which will become part of healthcare in every setting.
  10. Physician burnout rates will decrease.


The guidelines suggested here are not rules, do not constitute legal advice, and do not ensure a successful outcome. The ultimate decision regarding the appropriateness of any treatment must be made by each healthcare provider considering the circumstances of the individual situation and in accordance with the laws of the jurisdiction in which the care is rendered.