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There’s Never Been a Better Time to Change Health Care

Topic: There’s Never Been a Better Time to Change Health Care

The U.S. healthcare system has been broken for a long time. But COVID-19 has brought some of that brokenness—like disparities in access to quality care and patient outcomes—into sharp focus. Record unemployment rates mean millions of people have lost not only their income, but their employer-sponsored health insurance, too. Their options are bleak: either to pay out of pocket for a less expensive, high deductible plan, or forego insurance entirely.

You can see how this is a ticking time bomb. People put off treatment for health issues because they simply can’t afford it. Those health issues get worse over time. Eventually, they will have no choice but to seek treatment. Often, via the uber-expensive ER. Sometimes, when it’s too late.

Obviously, this isn’t good for the patients. But it’s not good for healthcare providers either. It’s more likely that they’ll have to employ more expensive interventions. And less likely that the patients will be able to pay for them. Boom!

Crisis Inspires Progress

Historically, major disruptions—the great depression, both world wars—have demanded that we not just rebuild, but reinvent and rethink. But it helps to think of disruptions on a smaller scale: imagine your well-insured house burns down. When you receive your settlement, do you recreate an exact replica, or design a new home with better materials and newer technology that meets more of your needs?

The time bomb of: COVID-19+an economic crisis+income disparity+racial and gender inequities has set our already broken healthcare system on fire. We need to rebuild, reinvent, and rethink a better system with newer technology that meets our needs. In the process, the practice of medicine—including caring for patients with COVID-19—will greatly improve. There’s no better time, and no more important time, than now to do this.

Three Fixes

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel here. We can quickly and easily effect change by looking at new models for healthcare that are already working and replicating them on a larger scale. Here are three examples.

Topic Discussed: There’s Never Been a Better Time to Change Health Care

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