As the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency nears, the health care industry faces a broad array of challenges, some novel and some that pre-date the pandemic. Many hospitals and health systems are struggling financially due to high inflation and labor shortages. Tenuous hospital finances along with payment rates negotiated during a low-inflation environment could set the stage for contentious contract negotiations with insurers, threatening disruptions to provider access for patients.
At the same time, health care consolidation continues at a fast clip even as federal antitrust authorities successfully block some hospital mergers that could raise prices and hurt patient care. Meanwhile, digital health companies, once the darling of venture capitalists, have stumbled, raising questions of their impact going forward.
On Tuesday, April 11, the USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy hosted the 27th Wall Street comes to Washington health care roundtable. Designed to bridge the worlds of Wall Street and Washington health policy, an expert panel of equity analysts, moderated by Nonresident Senior Fellow Paul B. Ginsburg, discussed market trends shaping the health care system that policymakers need to know.
Topics included the outlook for provider payment rate negotiations with insurers; implications of the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency, particularly on telehealth and hospital-at-home initiatives; the effect of increased federal antitrust enforcement on consolidation; behavioral health access challenges; digital health technologies; workforce issues; physician practice ownership trends; insurance industry developments, including greater scrutiny of Medicare Advantage payments; pharmacy benefit managers and drug spending; and attempts to address social determinants of health.
Viewers submitted questions for panelists by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter with #WallStHealthPolicy.