Everyone who’s reeling from 2020 is hoping for light in 2021. Health care, especially—systems, hospitals, clinical practices and their providers—wants the pain to stop. What might lie ahead for health care next year? Here’s what we’re thinking about the near future, and what you should watch for in 2021.
1. Health care providers will be fortified.
If one thing is clear from the election results, it’s that relief is coming to help providers on the pandemic’s front line. Money won’t be free-flowing, but it will be targeted to areas of financial distress. We should expect initiatives to centralize purchasing and distribution of personal protective equipment stockpiles, ending the competition between hospital systems and between states—and probable actions against price gouging. Likewise, efforts to monitor staffing resources and create mechanisms to send medical staffing to hotspots should emerge, as well as information exchanges to share best practices, treatments, and experiences in health care settings. Reporting related to vaccine distribution and administration will also be more centralized and transparent, with time.