We need to win the Covid19 war and achieve peace.

I’ve been listening to leaders in the financial industry about what they hope to see post Covid19. There is unanimous consensus that Covid19 will have a much bigger economic impact than the 2008 financial crisis that gave way to the Great Recession. We recovered from that crisis, but it left a massive gap in wealth that has contributed to the political divide. In their words, we won the war but failed to achieve peace.

Achieving peace means addressing the wealth gap. Some think a new American Dream is needed to grow the pie and to divide it more equally, while others are simply calling for more focus on Main Street and individual Americans and less on Wall Street and corporations. Their main concern is whether or not there is enough political will to narrow the gap. 

There is also a gap in healthcare that needs to be addressed. The Accountable Care Act [ACA] helped but it didn’t get the job done.

What’s the future then?

Learning from the past is important but the healthcare industry has recycled a lot of ideas that simply don’t work.

If we use the lens economists and financial professionals use when assessing broader market dynamics and opportunities, we can start getting out of our box.

Assess change using an economic framework

1/ Store of Wealth

What companies performed the best in recent months and are in the best financial position to survive the recession? Understanding why will give us new insights into the technologies and services most valuable to providers and patients respectively.

2/ Asset Type

Are industry segments still relevant given the level of cross pollination? Traditionally we’ve thought about the industry in terms of biotech, med tech, health tech, healthcare technology, insurance and services but segments imply a silo. Silos are not relevant when thinking about value in a service economy.

3/ Geography

Is geography still a constraint on delivering value? We often think about healthcare as being a local service but we’ve learned through medical tourism that people are willing to travel for a better price, higher quality of care and better service. Covid19 creates the opportunity to re-evaluate the types of service that should be delivered locally and virtually versus those that are better delivered in Centers of Excellence [COEs] and teaching facilities.

4/ Global

What systems failed under pressure? Covid19 has made it clear that we are all affected by and dependent on others around the globe. We need to design redundancy into those systems to prevent future failures and to restore the confidence of provider organizations and the public.

This is the beginning of a big shift that will change how we operate, who we work with and who we serve.

Beyond Healthcare

Covid19 presents an opportunity for changes to industries that affect the health and wellbeing of all Americans and to incentivize meaningful innovation that will help lower the cost of healthcare and achieve peace.