Temporary and permanent changes to the U.S. healthcare system

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented the world with financial difficulties and challenges to overcome, and providers of goods and services have adapted and evolved to meet these challenges.  The healthcare industry has been a forerunner of such innovation.  It began with ramping up research, manufacturing, and distribution to supply the world with PPE.  Furthermore, the healthcare industry led the effort to innovate supply chain solutions to the nations’ need for ventilators, therapeutics, and vaccines. Additionally, healthcare professionals have created new protocols and technologies to protect and care for populations and patients.  Such breakthroughs have led to the widespread use of telemedicine and contact tracing.   Now with COVID-19 vaccines rolling out over the coming months, some are asking, “What changes are here to stay?”

For medical providers and their patients, COVID-19 has presented a unique set of financial difficulties.   Due to unemployment or reduced employment, many patients are unable to afford out-of-pocket healthcare expenses.  As a result, such patients have elected to postpone elective procedures or well visits until the economy rebounds.   Healthcare providers in turn have experienced substantially reduced patient revenues.

Dr. Robert Mittendorf is a physician and entrepreneur, and in an article with Startup Health he shares some of his insights into these problems and solutions, as well as his perspective on possible long-term foundational shifts in healthcare delivery. Mittendorf states that “...practices over a matter of months have figured out how to operate in a hybrid model, where a portion of visits are in-person and a portion of visits are virtual.”  In this hybrid model, patients and physicians have been able to reach a compromise that keeps revenue going to physicians, while putting the safety of everyone involved first. 

Dr. Mittendorf also points to the pandemic’s silver lining-- forcing the primary care industry to innovate, creating new methods of getting patients the treatment they need. Mittendorf goes on to make an apt analogy, mentioning that “...laparoscopic surgery took a long time for surgeons to adopt. It used to be that the size of one’s incision was related to the size of one’s stature as a surgeon. That’s been flipped on its head with minimally invasive surgery: Now surgeons are measured based on the absence of scars…”  He continues, “I think this is going to be, in a sense, the laparoscopic moment for primary care. And we should see a change in how general medicine is practiced as a result.” 

At Carehub®, we agree with Dr. Mittendorf, and we aim to be a part of the positive changes happening in the wake of  COVID-19. For so long, physicians have been stuck between the inconvenience of subleasing space from other physicians, or signing an expensive long-term lease for full-time office space. Carehub® offers a better option for physicians wanting to expand their practice into new markets, which can save them 70% to 85% off the cost of full-time space. To learn more about how Carehub® can help your practice, please give us a call at (512) 543-CARE Ext. 8 or email us at lee@carehubcoworking.com.  

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