3 strategies disruptors could use to dominate primary care

Big tech and retail disruptors have the power to revolutionize or distort the primary healthcare industry, Harvard Business Review reported Jan. 7. 

The interest of companies such as Amazon, CVS, Walmart and Walgreens in primary care physicians might stem from the dysfunction of the current system, according to the report. 

Primary care physicians are essential in providing preventive care, managing patients and helping them navigate the healthcare system. However, in the U.S., primary care physicians compose only 12 percent of the total practicing physician population. Meanwhile, generalists make up 26 percent of all physicians in the U.K. and 45 percent in France. 

Large companies could alter the healthcare space with three strategies, and could do so in three main ways, according to HBR. 

1. Interested companies could use primary care offerings to attract customers to retail settings. Using a potential increase in profit from consumer buying, their healthcare business could be subsidized. 

2. Companies could increase profitability of the care through increasing productivity. Using nurse practitioners as the key care providers would be crucial to this strategy. 

3. Working with payers, which CVS and United Health Group already do, is another way companies could disrupt the healthcare space. Because  these companies already assume the risk for care on behalf of insured clients, they can use primary care as a cost-reducing technique by reducing hospitalizations and focusing on preventive care.

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