The Healthcare Dive Outlook on 2021

Samantha Liss, Healthcare Dive

Note from the editor

The next steps for the explosion of telehealth, the Biden administration's efforts to roll back Trump-era policies and the road back to a new normal way of doing business for payers and providers are Healthcare Dive’s big trends for 2021.

Many providers took a financial beating in 2020 as lucrative elective surgeries dried up as hospitals came under pressure to prioritize COVID-19 patients and those seeking non-emergency care were skittish about coming back into crowded facilities. Going forward, the crisis may spur cost-saving efforts via the shift to more value-based care arrangements and payer-provider partnerships. At the same time, massive job losses from the pandemic could push more patients to Medicaid or off the insurance rolls altogether, another potential risk for health systems. The same dynamic could, however, be a tailwind for Medicaid-focused payers like Centene and Molina.

Telehealth grew from a nascent industry to a must-have capability when much elective care ground to a halt as the pandemic hit. Big questions now center around which regulatory flexibility will remain and whether consumers will want to go back to business as usual. Few think the landscape will revert to pre-pandemic times, and with rising use of wearables and predictive AI, a renewed focus on cybersecurity is likely.

Finally, the new Biden administration is eager to make its mark on health policy by reversing many actions the Trump administration took, particularly on the ACA and Medicaid. The administration has already opened a special pandemic-related enrollment period. Also on the Biden agenda: bolstering the ACA marketplaces, weakening so-called skinny health plans embraced by Trump and rolling back an expansion of work requirements tied to Medicaid.

Happy New Year and thanks for reading.

Kim Dixon Lead Editor

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The Healthcare Dive Outlook on 2021

The next steps for the explosion of telehealth, the Biden administration's efforts to roll back Trump-era policies and the road back to a new normal way of doing business for payers and providers are Healthcare Dive’s big trends for 2021.

included in this trendline
  • 3 big predictions for digital health in 2021
  • 4 trends payers and providers should watch
  • A look at the Trump-era policies Biden may roll back
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Produced by our team of award-winning journalists, these Outlooks can help businesses navigate the uncertain road ahead in 2021.
Davide Savenije Editor-in-Chief at Industry Dive.