These are "EXCITING TIMES" for Healthcare
"May you live in exciting times"...an ancient Chinese curse that may, or may not, apply to the U.S. Healthcare Industry. It very much depends on one's perspective.
Should you be a Wal-Mart shareholder or associate you are most likely curious in a good way. If you are employed by Humana, your stomach may be grumbling. I suppose CVS, Optum, and Aetna are excited in many ways. Don't let the mega-merger phenomenon get you too down or too up, such action spurs opportunity. Of course the big guys want to achieve scale. Certainly financial gain and competitive advantage are the driving factors. The question remains - will
healthcare delivery, service, access, and affordability be improved? I think it will! Here's why:
When Berkshire Hathaway, Amazon, Apple, and who knows who else say "we are entering healthcare in a big, direct way", people take notice - that's good! When Apple launches an EMR platform to do what countless "insider" cooperative efforts have failed to do - that's encouraging;
When AI seems to hold the promise of serving as a force multiplier for physician shortages - I like it;
When virtual platforms allow one to connect at their convenience with a physician for common urgent matters - oh yeah, give me more;
When the same virtual platforms afford a working physician mom to practice her profession while continuing to give birth and grow a family - hurray;
When virtual didactic learning reduces the cost - and educational debt - of those pursuing a medical career -- bring it on I say;
When a voting majority thinks it wise to consider universal coverage and access models for the United Sates - great, let's do it!
This is the United States. Think opportunity, believe we can-do, ask how can change make healthcare and my role in it better! Flip the coin to the upside...there is a lot of very good, impressive stuff happening and more will come. There is much for which to be optimistic, don't fall victim to nihilism and negativity as it will not serve you well.
"May you live in exciting times...". My friends, for us 'tis not a curse; it is an invitation to be creative, innovative, and purposeful -- do good and have fun!