McKinsey October 15, 2021
Kevin Carmody, Karl Kellner, Edward Levine, Rupal Malani, and Joseph Mitchell

Regional healthcare providers should address some familiar topics—with speed and all at once—to thrive in the next normal.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to place a severe strain on regional health systems. Each day, healthcare workers perform heroically and demonstrate compassion, agility, and resilience in the face of extraordinary pressure. Provider organizations have marshaled all their resources to meet the operational and logistical challenges of the ongoing health crisis, exacerbated by the recent surge of the Delta variant.

At the same time, new operating and competitive headwinds have emerged. The past 18 months have exposed the financial vulnerability of health systems, many of which relied on government subsidies to address operating shortfalls.1 As providers focus on the frontline battle against COVID-19, patients...

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