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Feature Story: COVID? It might be the least of their worries

Colliers provider panel discusses $150 per hour nurses and other challenges

By John B. Mugford

The provider panel during the Colliers Healthcare Conference included (from left to right): moderator David Braunstein of Rethink, Jeff Harrington of Children’s Hospital of Colorado, Scot Latimer of Gensler and Bradley Case of the Good Clinic. (HREI photo)

As Bradley Case, president of Minneapolis-based the Good Clinic, a startup focused on primary care services, noted during last week’s Colliers National Healthcare Conference in Denver: “I think the panic phase of the COVID-19 pandemic is over, as we can now cough in a room without everybody ducking like it’s a gunshot.”

The comment drew some chuckles from the audience and seems quite accurate. But whatever phase we’re in now, it presents its own share of challenges, especially for healthcare providers.

The pandemic has certainly accelerated some of the trends in healthcare that were on the rise before early 2020, and sparked some new ones. Those include a long list of headaches facing health systems and other providers as the country continues to emerge from COVID’s grip.

At the same time that providers face a myriad of stresses – some of which include rising costs, staffing shortages and other labor problems, supply chain issues, and a soaring need for behavioral health services, particularly in pediatric care – patients have become more involved in the care they receive than ever before, which is putting even more pressure on providers.

These topics and how to deal with them while still providing the best care for patients dominated the discussion during a panel session at the conference, which was put on by Colliers International (Nasdaq: CIGI). Held Sept. 22-23, the gathering at the Grand Hyatt in Denver had the tagline: “The Future of Healthcare: The Next Normal.”

During what was titled the “Provider Panel,” moderator David Braunstein, VP of investments with White Plains, N.Y.-based Rethink Healthcare Properties, formerly Seavest, started the conversation by saying:

“President Biden recently said during a 60 Minutes interview that the COVID-19 pandemic is over. We all acknowledge that COVID’s still a problem, but we are indeed on the other side of the pandemic.”

He then asked the professionals on the panel to discuss whether demand for services and patient volumes have returned to pre-pandemic levels, whether the delivery models have changed as a result, and what the future holds for providing healthcare services.

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