How Climate Change Will Transform Healthcare Delivery and Payer Strategies (Health Leaders)

How Climate Change Will Transform Healthcare Delivery and Payer Strategies

Monday, May 20th, 2024 Life & Health Property Risk Management Technology

As climate change progresses, it is expected to have profound effects on healthcare delivery, including increased utilization and costs, and disruptions to supply chains. Payers will need to develop robust care management strategies to address these issues effectively. This two-part article explores the challenges and solutions for healthcare payers in the face of climate change. Part one discussed the impacts of climate change on healthcare and the roles payers must assume. Part two delves into detailed solutions to help payers mitigate these impacts and sustain their business operations.

Three Major Areas of Impact for Payers

High Utilization
Climate change will lead to higher healthcare utilization due to increased health risks. Payers should develop climate change response plans targeting high-risk areas. Implementing digital care and telehealth solutions can help manage the increased demand. Educating consumers about health risks and providing resources through care-management platforms will be crucial. Special attention should be given to seniors, who are particularly vulnerable to heat-related health issues.

High Costs
Rising healthcare utilization will drive up costs for payers. Additionally, climate change-induced disasters will disrupt supply chains, further increasing expenses. For instance, a tornado in North Carolina in July 2023 severely impacted the pharmaceutical supply chain. Payers must collaborate with sustainable partners and create effective communication plans to handle such events.

Impact on Healthcare Workers
The ongoing labor shortage in healthcare will be exacerbated by climate change, especially in emergency response and other frontline roles. Payers should work with health systems to support these workers, using AI and automation to reduce their burden. Virtual care, already advanced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will become increasingly important as climate change makes physical access to healthcare more challenging.

Opportunities for Payers to Lead

Payers have a unique opportunity to lead the healthcare sector’s response to climate change. Collaborating with climate research institutions and participating in climate-health policymaking can position payers at the forefront of this issue. Developing new insurance products tailored to climate change effects, such as heatstroke insurance, can address emerging health risks. Focusing on underserved populations, who are disproportionately affected by climate change, will be essential. Additionally, diversifying portfolios by partnering with private equity firms to expand care delivery can create new opportunities and enhance emergency-room triage and resource allocation.


Claims Pages Staff Writers are dedicated professionals covering a broad spectrum of insurance topics, including auto, catastrophe, education & training, fraud, legislation, liability, life & health, litigation, property, risk management, technology, underwriting, and workers' compensation. With over 25 years of distribution, our publication brings you accurate and timely information to keep you informed and ahead in the claims industry.


External References & Further Reading
https://www.healthleadersmedia.com/payer/how-climate-change-will-turn-heat-payers-part-two

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