What Lies Ahead in 2022

It’s the start of a new year, and with a new calendar, comes predictions about what to expect. Fierce Healthcare recently asked 12 healthcare executives for their thoughts about what lies ahead in 2022.

Many of the themes that were foisted on the industry or accelerated by pandemic are still at play in their predictions: interest in virtual care, responding to the ongoing pandemic and the need to focus more on patients’ social needs. One area of note is how COVID-19 sharpened the focus on health inequity and the need to address social determinants of health (SDOH).

John Schwartz, chief revenue officer at HSBlox highlighted how his team “uncovered the value of incorporating social health requirements.” He went on to say that care outside the walls of the hospital continues to grow and so too has a need to incorporate SDOH.

Dan Greenleaf, CEO of Modivcare, believes that it should be the goal of every major player in the industry to expand healthcare access. He noted that the “most meaningful way to help underserved populations and close health equity gaps is by delivering solutions that connect members to the community organizations and resources that will enable them to directly address social determinants of health.”

Michael Dulin, M.D., chief medical officer at Gray Matter Analytics thinks that staff should be incentivized to document and discuss social determinants of health (SDOH). He went on to say, “Further, value chain thinking will accelerate the proliferation of social programs to address SDOH, from food security to housing to childcare, employment and transportation.”

During the initial wave of the pandemic, we saw firsthand how SDOH can impact vulnerable populations. Senior citizens were already at an elevated risk for food insecurity prior to the pandemic. Northwestern Medicine collaborated with Our Lady of Angels Food Pantry to ensure seniors could get fresh food.  As the logistics partner to Northwestern Medicine, we had the privilege of delivering those groceries to seniors.

Part of MedSpeed’s mission is to deliver health to the community. We take that seriously and look for ways to partner with like-minded healthcare organizations as they acknowledge the large role that SDOH can play in the delivery and quality of healthcare. Next year, when we are discussing predictions for 2023, it is my hope that we can talk about the strides we’ve made in addressing those inequities and serving all communities.

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