Teleheath will help create ‘a different health care system’ after the virus, Humana CEO says

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Humana CEO Bruce Broussard said Tuesday that he expects telehealth and other changes embraced by the health-care sector during the coronavirus pandemic to have a lasting impact on how people go to the doctor. 

“You’re going to see a different health-care system as a result of the virus that is going to be much more distributed in the ability to deliver care,” Broussard said on CNBC’s “Closing Bell.” 

Use of telehealth services has surged as the coronavirus has spread around the country, with some states waiving prior restrictions on the services. Broussard also said that he could see more health-care services being performed in the home going forward so patients do not necessarily need to go into the hospital. 

The rise of digital health care has made Teladoc one of the favorite stocks on Wall Street. The company’s shares have more than doubled this year. 

However, some of the traditional revenue sources for hospitals and other health-care providers have disappeared during the crisis. Many hospitals around the country have postponed elective surgeries to conserve supplies and staff for Covid-19 patients.

Once restrictions on elective procedures are lifted, demand may not snap back to where it was before. Broussard said he expects a “slow but steady” recovery in the health-care sector as patients may be wary about going back to the hospital.

Humana on Tuesday announced that it was waiving copays and other cost sharing for primary care and behavioral health services for its Medicare Advantage customers in an attempt to encourage them to begin using the health-care system again. 

“We’re seeing delayed care in those areas, and we really believe it’s important both for our members and for the providers to restart the health-care system,” Broussard said. 

The company announced in March that it would waive out-of-pocket costs for Covid-19 care. 

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