The annual meetings with our customers and members of the companies managed by Inspirien (Inspirien Insurance Company and the Healthcare Workers’ Compensation Fund – HWCF) are always a special time. This year we brought both boards together to hear a presentation from Jessica DaMassa, A Health Innovation Reporter and Executive Producer of WTF Health (What the Future). She was recently recognized as one of the 30 Healthcare IT influencers worth a follow in 2023.

In this session, Jessica took us on a journey for where things might be headed based on where investment dollars are flowing. Investors are looking to place their bets on things that might be ripe for disruption. That leaves healthcare, especially rural healthcare, a prime target. We’ve all seen the news of reimbursement struggles, staffing difficulties, etc. The opportunity for others to solve some of these issues is right in front of us. Many of the formidable competitors are those with the footprint, the technology and the funds to play. Healthcare is a tangled web and it won’t be easy for them, but these aren’t the type of players that are going to give up. They are accustomed to solving big problems and have the power and connections to do it. CVS, Walmart and Amazon are all expanding their infrastructure to get in the game. Dollar General is also one to watch. There is one of these in almost every rural neighborhood in the Southeast. How it will work remains to be seen, but it’s not going away. In fact, only likely to accelerate.

So, what does that mean for the current model and the hospitals and other health providers in Alabama and Georgia? Was this message meant to be a scare tactic for them? I don’t think so. It’s more of a wakeup call. These new channels of care, integrated solutions, etc., offer the unique opportunity for existing providers to reinvent themselves so they remain relevant in new business models. Jessica shared actionable ideas for how that might be accomplished. It’s also a chance to take something that is quite honestly broken and find a way to make it more affordable and accessible to all. From this Chief Innovation Officer’s perspective, there are still lots of opportunities to engage, but doing nothing is no longer an option.

Article contributed by Kathy Freyman, Chief Innovation Officer for Inspirien.