The following is a column from Vachette CEO Mick Raich:
Bill Gates once said that we overestimate the changes in the next two years and underestimate the change in the next ten years. So, let’s crystal ball the COVID-19 crisis over the next two years and then guess what will be the outcome in ten years and how this will affect the medical community.
This fall, we will see another round of COVID, perhaps even COVID-20. The coronavirus has been around for a millennium, it’s not going to call a truce due to a vaccine or social distancing. This being said, how do we think it will affect healthcare going forward in the next two years?
In two years, it would not be lunacy to see mini-labs for all large employers where their staff can be tested weekly. Many places already are setting up temperature screening for every employee when they arrive. Is it implausible to imagine mandatory staff testing and contact tracing in every company with over 500 employees going forward? How we pay for this, how it affects a company’s revenue and profitability and how this affects the gross national product going forward it too big an issue for this column.
So, let’s jump ahead to ten years from now. We now have COVID-29 and everyone is used to masks and social distance circles in our parks. How will ten years of this challenge healthcare? Will if force practice consolidation through ACOs and mega health systems, or will there be a national health service?
My guess? Depending on the length of time of the various shutdowns, we will see hugely different outcomes. In states where the shutdowns were nominal you may see many large free market health systems. Other states will see most of their health systems consolidate. I also believe there will be a national health service with a national laboratory defense network.
Only time will tell.