Nearly three years after its onset, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to effect providers, insurers and other stakeholders in the healthcare industry.
Trends this year include rising hospital expenses as staffing shortages and a reliance on contract labor continue to plague systems, even as facilities face ongoing burnout and a surge in worker strikes.
Coupled with inflation, rising expenses this year could lead to clashes at the bargaining table between payers and providers as clinicians attempt to negotiate higher payment rates.
Meanwhile, payers are looking ahead to a looming potential recession and are scrutinizing commercial medical utilization amid widespread national layoffs.
The end of the COVID-19 public health emergency this spring will lead the loss of Medicaid coverage for millions of Americans, and could deal additional blows to payers as they face a drop in covered lives.
In addition, fears of an economic recession loom for digital health companies after years of record funding, with investors this year prioritizing safety over risk. Funding levels should stabilize this year for mental and behavioral health companies, along with family planning and femtech remaining key areas of interest.
And, while telehealth use has fallen from record highs at the beginning of the pandemic, patients are still turning to virtual care, with volumes expected to shift from urgent visits to chronic care management.
Providers will also start to weave artificial intelligence into their workflows, including in areas like revenue cycle management, clinical decision support and patient engagement.
Healthcare providers will also face pressure this year to invest in and adopt better technology to combat cyberattacks, which have risen in volume and severity over the past few years.
Read about these trends and more in the following articles.