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End the duopoly

Covid-19 triggers surge in healthcare consumerism: What’s the potential for quality and affordability?

I’ve practiced internal medicine for almost 20 years. Never have I seen such a dramatic shift in the way people seek care, as we are experiencing today. Nearly overnight, we have been forced to rethink where we get care and whether we get it at all.

The scary thing about this new trend is that people may be ignoring critical symptoms such as those associated with a heart attack in fear of going to the ER and being exposed to Covid-19. The silver lining is the current pandemic has driven a level of health care engagement I have never seen in my career. The healthcare industry has been striving for people to be more active consumers of care for decades. We’ve tried transparency tools, high-deductible health plans—the list of unsuccessful engagement tactics goes on. Those tools weren’t successful for the patients I saw, in my practice, because treatment options were hard to navigate; there was no way to know how much their care decisions actually cost; and patients had little knowledge of the end-to-end care they might need to fully address their conditions. Studies from across the industry confirm that my experience wasn’t unique .

An increased ownership in galvanizing consumer […]

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