Future Health - 10/16/20

Delivering care in the new virtual world… 

Predictions and Findings – I clipped an article in mid-June 2020 in the pre-chaos stage of the Covid-19 pandemic from StatNews (9 Ways COVID-19 May Forever Upend the U.S. Health Care Industry”). You may remember this period. It was when we were hovering around 100,000 lives and 30 million jobs lost. It seems like so very long ago. As part of the article, StatNews interviewed both prominent Democrat and Republican health care leaders to come up with a set of “findings” occurring as a result of the pandemic. Sometimes it is good to look back – even for only a couple of months – to secure lessons for the future. Those findings included the following:

  1. The pandemic has accelerated telemedicine by a decade.
  2. The pandemic is driving us yet another step away from traditional employer-based health insurance.
  3. Home health aides are the new, new thing as we move away from institutional care.
  4. Racial disparities will not only become evident but exacerbated through the pandemic.
  5. Drug affordability will move to the forefront – and, it has – with the opportunity for the drug industry to rehab its reputation.
  6. There will be a push – if not a shove – to have American drugs made in America!
  7. The government’s role in “health preparedness” will receive increased scrutiny – and support.
  8. Increasing the role of nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants on the primary care front will move front and center.
  9. The economic underbelly of the “fee-for-service” system of “doing” will be exposed.

These are thoughts from four months ago (mid-June) that resonate even more strongly here in mid-October and will, no doubt, become the major themes for debates in the coming year. Mark my word…

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