Covid-19 has forced us all to innovate at every level. We would be wise to take the time to recognize and preserve those innovations — especially as they relate to value-based care.
The following is excerpted from an article in NEJM Catalyst — A Flower Blooms in the Bitter Soil of the Covid-19 Crisis — by authors Jaewon Ryu, MD, JD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Geisinger; Kristin Russell, MD, MBA, Medical Director, Humana; and William Shrank, MD, MSHS, Chief Medical and Corporate Affairs Officer, Humana.
“The rate of innovation in health care during the Covid-19 crisis has been extraordinary. The percentage of physicians using telehealth has soared from less than 20% 2 years ago to almost 50%1 today and an estimated 1 billion visits will occur virtually this year. When the need arose, clinicians quickly learned how to sterilize personal protective equipment and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration rushed to approve the technique. Ventilators have been rigged so they can be shared while research studies are completed — from ideation to publication — within weeks. And we are caring for patients where they are — in their homes — with remote monitoring, triaging health bots, and in-home hospital care.
“Examples abound, and the remarkable pace of progress has been a bright spot amidst the tragedy. In addition to celebrating this, we should think proactively about whether there are lessons that we can apply to other health care challenges. Although the need to decrease costs and waste in the health care system lacks the drama and immediacy of the current crisis, it is more essential than ever that we do this, and that we do it quickly.”