The current healthcare landscape has highlighted the importance of maintaining and supporting all healthcare delivery pathways and public health programs. For many states, factors such as unemployment and the economic downturn resulting from the pandemic have led to increased enrollment in safety net programs like Medicaid. At the same time, an uncertain economic landscape has led to declining revenues and unpredictable budgets. Along with managing this influx of safety net program enrollment—a challenge in itself—states have also had to deal with the added strain that COVID-19 cases are placing on the healthcare system.
During the first months of 2020, various national, state and local processes, rules and regulations were suspended or simplified to help increase patient capacity and access to healthcare. Most notably, for many patients, the relaxed telehealth requirements have allowed providers to quickly begin offering virtual patient care.