Not only is healthcare itself predicted to grow more rapidly than any other industry, but some sectors within the industry are forecast to grow at even faster rates. Here are the fastest-growing healthcare sectors for 2022.
Behavioral Health Services
Behavioral health services are focused on helping people with mental illness or substance abuse disorders. According to research, the behavioral healthcare market in the U.S. is valued at $90.5 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow to in excess of $130 billion by 2027.
The last decade has seen a widespread cultural shift away from inpatient care to outpatient mental health services to meet consumer demand for affordable and convenient counseling. This demand in this healthcare sector is bolstered by the recent passing of mental health parity laws which means that insurance companies must cover outpatient psychotherapy services.
Home healthcare businesses are in high demand across the country as life expectancies increase and the country’s population continues to age and develop chronic conditions. It is well-publicized that older Americans prefer to stay in their own homes as they age rather than go to a nursing home or assisted living facility.
As the elderly population in the United States continues to expand, the 85-plus crowd is likely to need the most healthcare. The need to lower rehospitalization rates for this group is expected to provide 7.3% growth in this $113 billion healthcare sector for years to come, according to Grand View Research.
Growth in the $346 billion retail pharmacy sector is predicted to grow 3.1% this year. The demand for retail pharmacies is heightened by a combination of events, including the pandemic and the rise in chronic conditions due to the aging population. The demand for certain medications is also on the rise, such as specialty drugs for specific diseases, generic medicines, and preventive medications such as vaccines and wellness capsules.
While three large chains traditionally dominate this healthcare sector, there are smaller pharmacy companies that offer opportunities for interest entrepreneurs. These smaller pharmacies appeal to the public as people seek a more personal experience with their pharmacists.
Another fast-growing sector is urgent care. Even before the pandemic, which brought record-breaking patient visits urgent care centers, the $40 billion industry (IBISWorld) witnessed a shift in its direction thanks to a change in consumer preferences and a new focus on preventive care.
Rather than wait to see a primary care doctor, Americans are turning to urgent care centers like American Family Care (AFC) for their healthcare needs. Many urgent care centers are able to provide X-rays, lab work, and prescriptions all in one visit under one roof, which is more convenient than going to a primary care office.
It is also less expensive than a trip to the emergency room. In fact, 45% of adults surveyed by the Kaiser Family Foundation did not have a primary care physician, preferring the ease of access and affordability of urgent care over traditional doctors’ offices or hospitals.
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