Mark E. Lutes, Chair of the firm’s Board of Directors and Member of the Firm in the Health Care & Life Sciences practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, was featured in an MCOL ThoughtLeaders newsletter, discussing the following question: “What key healthcare business trend(s) for 2021 are you most concerned about stakeholder preparedness for, beyond continued efforts to contain the pandemic and deployment of vaccines?”

Following is an excerpt:

I am concerned that delivery system participants are not sufficiently planning for the impact of health delivery in the retail setting. The conceptualization is that the big box retailers will predominantly play a role in urgent care. However, these retailers can use their convenience and price predictability to win consumers for other clinical journeys. As they scale, they will have the opportunity for referrals to imaging, labs, and ambulatory surgery among others. Particularly where the retailer adds the power of digital tracking and follow-up, traditional health systems may find they lose key revenue segments to the pervasive consumer experience generated by these brands.

The tech giants’ health care initiatives have not yet moved much of the health care market. It would, however, be foolish to underestimate the degree to which the digital giants will eventually participate. Digital pharmacy has been only an early foray. Other service lines can be anticipated, and scale, brand and connectivity will, in time, transform other segments. Prudence in planning suggests anticipating where those inroads will occur and assessing, and adopting to, the downstream impacts.


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