Healthcare has been disrupted and there is more disruption to come.

Digital health has definitely filled the gap during the pandemic and will continue to be a big part of the healthcare delivery system.

Many providers are planning a blended approach post Covid – providing virtual visits a few days per week and in person visits on the other days.

Reimbursement continues to be a challenge for some because the more lucrative services have been delayed or canceled. Insurers are realizing windfall profits as a result but may feeling the pinch if the economic recovery takes as long as some are now predicting.

Depression

According to a recent Times article, “We’re headed into a global depression–a period of economic misery that few living people have experienced.” Reportedly there are three conditions that signal a depression rather than just a recession.

1/ The impact is global. Social safety nets are being tested and some will break.

2/ It cuts deep into livelihoods and change the way we live.

3/ The bad effect linger longer despite periods of temporary progress.

“The Congressional Budget Office has warned that the unemployment rate will remain stubbornly high for the next decade, and economic output will remain depressed for years unless changes are made to the way government taxes and spends. “

Healthcare

The question is now is how does a depression effect the healthcare industry? The department of Health and Human Services [HHS] is encouraging insurers to issue rebates and lower premiums. Some states are discussion cuts to insurers offering Medicaid.

“This could tilt the politics against insurers on a whole number of fronts,” said Larry Levitt, the executive vice president for health policy for the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan research group. 

Medicare for All may not be off the table yet. Regardless, more changes are expected.

Taxes

Taxes and wealth redistribution is a touchy topic but it’s a big topic for the upcoming election. Professional economists know that the economic bridge being provided now so not big enough to get the economy back. Higher taxes are inevitable.

The one story that is giving me hope now is about the open AI Economist initiative. It’s looking at all the factors that effect productivity and equality to help researchers, economists and governments figure out the right tax strategy. I’ll have more on that soon.

On a personal note:

I’ve been a busy bee but plan to be back to my regular writing schedule soon. 

While off, I was able to participate in a call with Joseph Badaracco, Harvard Business School professor and author of Step Back. The discussion and book is about the importance of reflection and how to make time for reflection every day.