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How Sites of Care Are Shifting

Bain’s Erin Ney and Michael Brookshire discuss trends in healthcare sites and the implications for providers.


How Sites of Care Are Shifting

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the pace of ongoing trends in where patients receive care, including major migrations to outpatient sites and digital platforms. Bain’s Erin Ney and Michael Brookshire, experts in the firm’s Healthcare practice, discuss five implications healthcare providers should be aware of in 2021 and beyond.

Read a transcript of the video below:

ERIN NEY: We are seeing an ongoing trend in shifts in sites of care delivery towards outpatient sites as health care systems look to reduce costs and improve convenience, particularly in the setting of increased consumerism, where patients have more of a choice and a voice in how, when, and where they receive their care. This has been reflected in shifts of surgical volume towards ambulatory surgical centers, increased urgent care utilization, and the proliferation of retail health clinics.

With Covid, existing trends continue to play out, some at an accelerated pace. But we've also seen a few new paradigms. We've seen continued migration to alternative sites of care outside traditional health care settings now in the form still of ambulatory surgical centers and urgent cares but also with home health. And this migration is still driven by a desire to improve cost and convenience. But especially early in the pandemic, there was also an increased perception of safety in the outpatient setting. We've also seen an acceleration of a shift to digital and omnichannel with online prescription fulfillment and an increased utilization of telehealth.

MICHAEL BROOKSHIRE: I see five main implications for providers. The first is that health systems need to have a strategy that addresses the entire care continuum. With patients and payers demanding more care coordination, it's imperative that providers at least have a set of partnerships that allow them to address those needs.

Secondly, they need to meet consumer needs on convenience and simplicity. Amazon, Airbnb, and many others are doing this outside of health care. And increasingly, health care disrupters are bringing those same skills into the health care arena.

Thirdly, providers need to bring better digital, data, and analytics to bear for managing comorbid patients, to better matching patients and their physicians. If health systems can bring the right data, combine it with advanced analytics, and infuse it with the digital experience, they are much better suited.

Fourth, providers need to understand the gravitational pull of value-based care. While the specifics vary by market and by system, and you certainly don't need to go all the way to capitation in all cases, providers need to understand that payers and people are increasingly demanding value.

And finally, providers need to engage clinicians in all they do. Whether it's redesigning care models or embedding telehealth in their workflows, clinicians are an integral part of any winning model that a provider deploys.


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