Covid-19 is having a major impact on care delivery in every shape and form. Specialty care was in the spotlight early in the pandemic, when many procedures were put on hold. Then hospital leaders had to navigate re-opening and accommodating procedural backlogs. Even if the transitional period between closing and opening is over, the implications for service lines will continue for years as the pandemic continues to fundamentally transform specialty care.
This briefing describes eight major transformations happening across service lines in response to Covid-19:
- Supply and demand will be uneven and unpredictable.
- Changes to the upstream ecosystem will disrupt referral source mix.
- Site-of-care shift of specialty services from the hospital will accelerate—but also fragment.
- Specialty telehealth is here to stay—and it fundamentally changes the geographic boundaries of competition.
- Pre-pandemic staffing models will no longer support service line success.
- Hospitals and health systems should not take any physician relationships for granted.
- Limited cash for capital purchasing does not necessarily mean limited leverage.
- Rationalizing services can no longer be avoided.