EUA’s Healthcare Studio recently hosted a virtual Advisory Board event for several of our clients and business partners. The presentation was a condensed version of their 2021 State of the Union, and focused on the unsettled issues facing leaders of the Healthcare industry as the country emerges from the acute phase of the Covid-19 pandemic. While the pandemic has impacted and disrupted healthcare payments, consumer choice and alternative means of care delivery, the window of influence will ultimately be closing and the final decisions shaping the future of healthcare have yet to be made.
At first pass, things are looking pretty good for the industry to recover to pre-pandemic conditions, but the real question facing decision makers is which of the changes during the pandemic will be permanent. The Advisory Board presentation by expert, Ben Umansky, also touched on a few very specific issues that are still unknown, such as:
- Long-term impact of delayed preventative care
- Cost pressures of labor shortages
- Pandemic’s impact on employee engagement
With the continued rise in Healthcare costs, the Fed will need to act in the very near future to avoid Medicare insolvency and either increase revenues or decrease spending. The impact of this will keep driving the site-of-care shifts that the marketplace has been experiencing such as Hospital at Home, telehealth and additional outpatient environments.
Another key area of focus was on the dynamics of new players providing virtual care. During the pandemic, virtual care was provided predominantly through existing doctor/patient relationships, but this is projected to shift in the years ahead. The new model will incentivize patients to receive virtual care from a new provider and create engineered behavior patterns for the consumer, where initial visits and follow-up care could be free. Lastly, the topic of disparities and inequities of patient access was touched upon as these new models continue to evolve.
For those of you that were able to join us for this presentation, we hope you found this material useful and would welcome you to continue the conversation with us. And for those of you who we missed; we would welcome the chance to continue the dialog about the changes in the healthcare industry.