Podcast: Predictions on Employer-Led Change


To what extent is COVID-19 a catalyst for sustained employer change? And what should stakeholders be focused on next?

Ellen Kelsay and Ashley Smith

2 min read

Healthcare has seen pockets of innovation as those who've bluntly pushed the envelope trying to drive big change. But even demonstrative change has been challenging and slow thus far.

Then, came COVID-19. To what extent is COVID-19 a catalyst for sustained employer change? And what should stakeholders be focused on next?

In this episode of the Oliver Wyman Health Podcast, Ellen Kelsay, President and Chief Executive Officer of Business Group on Health, chats with Ashley Smith, Partner in Oliver Wyman's Health & Life Sciences practice, about COVID-19's emerging silver linings for employers, what future industry scenarios may emerge over the next decade, and what the large sector employers she works with are now keeping watchful eyes on.

Memorable Moments From This Episode:

  • "Many entities and employers are trying to remain viable to keep the workforce employed and continue to provide and procure health and benefit coverage for that workforce. They have finite resources, and this may be the agent that finally creates more of a drumbeat within some smaller employer groups, to lean much more heavily and aggressively on their partners to not take it anymore."
  • "Every year, we keep an eye on what we call our 'trends to watch' for the coming year. All the trends we were tracking entering 2020 have been nothing but underscored exponentially by the pandemic. They haven't been replaced by newer strategies." 
  • "Having high-end data integrated across all delivery modalities and across all solutions is an issue that continues to plague the industry and is top of mind for employers."
  • "We could go on for hours talking about the nation's mental health crisis before the pandemic. That has exploded in unbelievable new ways, and in light of the pandemic, for people who had pre-existing mental and behavioral health needs, and certainly many who did not. But now, about everyone probably at some point felt anxiety, stress, and isolation because of the pandemic. And so, for the resulting mental behavioral healthcare needs therein and what employers are doing to make advancements in that space on quality and the virtual digital space as we think about more care being delivered through virtual modalities, we've certainly seen wide acceptance from consumers and providers."
  • Ellen Kelsay and
  • Ashley Smith