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Himsscast: What To Expect From 2021 Health Tech News

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By Author: EMRIndustry
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HIMSSCast is back from a short holiday hiatus with our first annual predictions podcast. In this episode, host Jonah Comstock, Healthcare IT News Executive Editor Mike Miliard, Healthcare Finance News Managing Editor Susan Morse, and MobiHealthNews Managing Editor Laura Lovett engage in a roundtable discussion of trends and predictions for each of their respective coverage areas.

Here are the major issues facing healthcare in 2021, according to PwC

Will a health system battered by the pandemic emerge stronger in the year ahead? The annual report predicts challenges such as profitably merging virtual and in-person care, and capitalizing on new consumer- and clinician-facing digital health tools.

The healthcare industry has six big challenges ahead in 2021: rightsizing after the telehealth explosion; adjusting to changing clinical trials; encouraging digital relationships that ease physician burdens; forecasting for an uncertain 2021; reshaping health portfolios for growth; and building a resilient and responsive supply chain for long-term health.
This is according to a new annual report from research ...
... and consulting giant PwC entitled “Top health industry issues of 2021: Will a shocked system emerge stronger?”

For this report, PwC’s Health Research Institute surveyed 2,511 American consumers, 128 health plan executives, 153 healthcare provider organization executives, and 124 pharmaceutical and life sciences executives in August and September 2020. HRI also interviewed numerous thought leaders from throughout the industry and frontline clinicians to understand their on-the-ground experiences during a historic year.

“While in 2020 many healthcare organizations saw their financial plans obliterated, patient behaviors radically shift and virtual care explode, in 2021 they will work to put the system back together,” said PwC researchers. “Not to how it always was – but in a way that reimagines healthcare delivery, reconnects broken pathways and makes a giant leap toward a consumer-centric healthcare system.”

Nearly overnight, as volumes dropped precipitously, the deadly pandemic thrust patients, doctors, pharmaceutical companies and payers headfirst onto virtual platforms and other digital technologies that many had previously approached with hesitation, according to the report.

That sudden experiment allowed for valuable insights that healthcare organizations in 2021 can use to fine-tune where they should land on the spectrum of virtual and in-person – in ways that make the most sense for care delivery, patient experience, reimbursement and clinical research.

The insights also can help healthcare organizations navigate vaccine distribution, as well as the ebbs and flows of patient volumes due to COVID-19 in the year ahead, according to the new report.

Healthcare right-sizes after the telemedicine explosion

The pandemic generated uneven experiences for millions of Americans as physicians, therapists, nurse practitioners, hospitals and other caregivers – all coming to telehealth with varying levels of experience themselves – tried suddenly to meet patients where they were, said PwC researchers.

Some virtual visits happened on nontraditional mobile platforms, on personal phones, through texts and through messaging platforms more often used for sharing family photos or Internet memes, it explained.

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