Two months ago, I thought it was the healthcare story of the year: A huge number of procedures are receiving authorization to be conducted outside of the hospital. However, that’s starting to pale in comparison to the news of the moment, COVID-19, which is going to silence much of our talk over the next three-plus months. But I maintain that when the (hopefully figurative) dust clears, 2020 will be the tipping point—the year that many routine procedures move outside of the hospital.

 

We’re watching this trend closely for two reasons. First, the powerful combination of substantially lower costs, reduced infection rates and the potential for improved outcomes make accelerating the trend an obvious move on the part of insurers. Second, we think that many medtech companies are underprepared for the move, either because their offering isn’t fine-tuned for the environment or their people and go-to-market structures are optimized to succeed with many fragmented and non-traditional players.

 

I recently spoke with Reed Miller of Medtech Insight, who summarized very well the trends and associated implications of procedures moving outside of the hospital setting. Even if it doesn’t end up being the story of the year, it’s certainly a trend of consequence in our industry for 2020.