COVID-19 challenges healthcare's status quo: 3 things to know

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Hospitals, physicians and others in the healthcare industry have had to quickly implement changes to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has also revealed ways to improve the U.S. healthcare system. 

To identify some of the ways the COVID-19 pandemic may upend the U.S. healthcare industry, STAT surveyed a host of physicians, executives, health advisers and other health policy experts. Below are three of their predictions. 

1. Instead of providing health insurance to employees, the pandemic could lead more employers to consider health reimbursement arrangements in an attempt to reduce costs. HRAs, in which employers reimburse employees for medical costs, offer more flexibility to employees. However, many times they offer employees less help with medical expenses than traditional employer-based insurance.

2. The public has placed significant pressure on drug companies to develop vaccines to protect against COVID-19, and the pandemic could present an opportunity for these companies to rehabilitate their reputations. Pharmaceutical companies have been blasted by some as profiteers, and the breakneck pace of development and approvals of vaccines and treatments to guard against COVID-19 may help them shake that reputation. 

3. There will be a shift in thinking about nursing homes and long-term care care facilities. Instead of housing seniors in those facilities, which accounted for more than one-third of COVID-19 fatalities in most states, more people may choose to hire home health aides. 

Access the full STAT article here

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