How COVID-19 has sparked innovation in health care

Good morning.

COVID-19 has exposed multiple problems in the U.S. health care system–the lack of surge capacity, the fragility of the financial model, and the vagaries of the payment system, to name a few. But it also has sparked remarkable innovation. Fortune yesterday assembled some of the brightest minds in the field for a virtual conversation about how the health system will be changed by the crisis, as part of the run-up to our big event in July: Fortune Brainstorm Health. My takeaways:

1) Telemedicine is here to stay…but in some places more than others.

“Forty-five percent of our visits are telehealth visits. The horse is out of the barn. Everybody has to do it. That has changed dramatically. There is no going back.”
–Dr. Steven Corwin, CEO, NewYork-Presbyterian

“Telemedicine is enabling people to bring that health care much closer to them.”
–Dr. Vivian Lee, author of The Long Fix

“In New York, there was an 11X increase in telehealth.” But in some Southern and rural states “there were much smaller increases.”
–Arif Nathoo, CEO, Komodo Health

2) The pandemic will increase the demands for reform in the payment system.

“We really need to fundamentally change the model of health care,” providing reward for driving value, rather than fee for service. “That will naturally drive us to make the right investments in prevention.”

“I think payment for value is going to become an irreversible trend, because the payment model is broken.”

3) Inequities in health care will have to be addressed.

“We have seen the inequities of the health care system play out. The question is can we build a more equitable future that is built on technology.”

“COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter are inseparable in terms of what they mean in terms of [health] outcomes. We don’t have a choice as a country. [This] means much greater interest on health equity as a piece of social justice.”

And while we are on social justice, both Twitter and Square have decided to make “Juneteenth” (June 19) a company holiday. The day marks the end of slavery in the U.S. CEO Daily wants to know: Are there other companies that have made, or are considering making, June 19 a holiday?

More news below. And an odd health care tidbit that Fortune discovered yesterday: the dentistry business seems to be leading the move to reopen. More here.


Alan Murray


Many companies are speaking out against racial injustices right now. But how do they fare in their own workplaces? Black employees in the corporate world, we want to hear from you: Please submit your anonymous thoughts and anecdotes here.

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