Update – 4-29-20

Today I have some information for you related to the growing picture of the “new normal” that is starting to develop.  Across all industries we are staring to see the pace of change speed up, with examples being the proliferation of telemedicine/virtual visits in health care and a transition to narrow body/short distance planes in the very near future.  As many of you are currently doing your best Wayne Gretzky impression and working to identify where the puck is going to be in your business, here are some items to put in the back of your mind.  
Primary Care Collaborative Survey 
The Primary Care Collaborative released a survey of 2,600 primary care physicians which had some very eye opening findings.

  • 43% of respondents stated that they were concerned they’d have enough patient volume to survive. 
  • 47% of respondents stated they were concerned they’d have enough cash to survive for four weeks.  

Where is the puck going?   Over the last decade there has been substantial consolidation in the health care market with many private practices being acquired by health systems.   Additionally, smaller systems are being acquired by larger players.  In our view the coronavirus crisis is only going to expedite this process.  For example, this article from late March identifies the pain small, rural hospitals are feeling currently. 
What does this mean for you?  As health systems consolidate we will continue to see a transition to narrow or tiered provider networks for health plans where health plans steer patients to one system or another.  Healthcare is going to be less face to face as a new normal as well.  Your health plan is going to change, even without your involvement, and we encourage you to look for ways to control the direction it goes and we can help.
Updated PwC CFO Survey 
PwC released the third edition of their CFO survey which identified some growing trends: 

  • 86% of CFO’s (as opposed to 82% in the last edition) report they are implementing cost containment strategies.  
  • 48% (as opposed to 39% in the prior edition) believe that the recovery will take 3 months or more. 
  • 49% of CFO’s report that they will make remote work a permanent option for roles that support it, and 40% report that they are fast tracking automation where possible (with 54% of health care CFO’s accelerating automation)

What to think about: 
With the pace of change in health care accelerating and a big spotlight shining on cost containment, please consider that there are a number of steps an employer can take to reduce the cost of their health plan without shifting costs to plan participants.  Over the next few updates I will be providing you with “bolt on” solutions that employers can use to immediate effect to reduce the cost of their self-funded health plans.  
If there is anything that we can do to help you in any aspect of your business, please don’t hesitate to ask.