Healthcare in 2021

Health care continues to change rapidly. In 2019, an emphasis on value-based care led to shifts that will continue well into 2020 and 2021. Virtual health communication is growing, and health leaders are placing more emphasis on the social determinants of health.

Healthcare Policy in 2020 and Beyond

In a divisive political climate, major reforms are unlikely in 2020. Focus will be on implementing current policies, such as value-based purchasing payments. This will continue to take precedence over fee-for-service approaches.

Another key issue for 2020 is the response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which poses a public health risk across the world. Nonpharmaceutical interventions and public health education will be the primary response strategy until a vaccine or treatment medication is developed.

Beyond 2020, healthcare policy could shift in many directions: block grants, association health plans, or even single-payer healthcare.

Potential Top Issues in 2020 and Beyond

Another focus area will be analytics for new data sources: patient history, mobile health, socioeconomic and genomic data. This data can support the transition to value-based care. Another data-related issue is interoperability: improving the exchange of member, payer, patient and provider data.

In 2020 and beyond, other top issues are emerging. Next generation payment models may develop a more equitable approach to cost management and risk sharing. The treatment of homeless patients, particularly patient dumping, will need to be addressed. And finally, the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic has highlighted vulnerabilities in health systems. This could result in more telemedicine, more investment in public health, or even an increase in public demand for healthcare reform.

Learn more about this dynamic topic in the infographic below by the USC Executive Master of Health Administration Online:.


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