Perspective: 6 trends likely to shape healthcare after COVID-19

Reform and health for all are among six trends most likely to shape healthcare after the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new analysis from McKinsey & Co., a global management consulting firm.

The six trends:

1. Reform. The analysis focuses on three likely reform trends: COVID-19-era CMS waivers related to clinical care and finance that could become permanent; actions that may   strengthen the industry to deal with pandemics; and reforms to address the economic crisis caused by COVID-19.

2. Health for all. The report highlights five health and social conditions correlated with poorer health outcomes: physical health status, behavioral health challenges, unmet social needs, racial inequity and access to care.  Addressing these problems is seen as key to more equitable healthcare outcomes.

3. Era of exponential improvement unleashed. Technology-driven innovation may help lead to more convenient, individualized patient care and create annual value of $350 billion to $410 billion by 2025, the analysis says. "While the pace of change in healthcare has lagged other industries in the past, potential for rapid improvement may accelerate due to COVID-19," the firm said.

4. The big squeeze. An injection of funding into healthcare to mitigate insurance coverage shifts and state budgetary pressures due to COVID-19 may not occur by 2022, according to the analysis. 

5. Fragmented, integrated care delivery. The pandemic has accelerated the shift of care from hospitals to outpatient settings, the analysis said. Healthcare after COVID-19 could be "increasingly delivered in distributed sites of care, integrated around the patient through digital and analytics across patient-centered ecosystems, and driven by at-scale players pursuing proven models to outperform."

6. Next-generation managed care accelerated. With more households strapped for cash due to job losses and other factors caused by COVID-19, the analysts recommend employers and payers consider rethinking the structure of employer-sponsored health coverage. "Learnings from Medicare Advantage could provide inspiration for such a reimagination," the firm said. 

Read more about McKinsey & Co.'s perspective here

 

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