Other top trends include the implications of delayed care, increased telehealth usage, and a decline in commercial insurance enrollment.
The loss of revenue in hospitals is the trend that is expected to have the greatest impact on the healthcare industry, according to a Definitive Healthcare survey released Thursday morning.
More than 36% of respondents indicated that losses sustained by providers due to the widespread cancellation of elective surgeries during the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is the most significant healthcare trend.
Other top trends include the implications of delayed care, (24.4%), increased telehealth usage, (23.2%), and a decline in commercial insurance enrollment, (10.3%).
Only 5.6% of respondents pointed to the backlog of elective surgeries as an important trend going forward.
In last year's survey, respondents pointed to industry consolidation and the growing influence of consumerism as the top trends to follow.
"While major metropolitan hospitals have been hit with the highest volumes of coronavirus patients, rural hospitals had been struggling financially since long before the viral outbreak hit its stride," Jason Krantz, CEO of Definitive Healthcare, said in a statement. "For these rural hospitals, COVID-19 is making an already bad situation even worse. Any amount of additional financial loss could put these vulnerable hospitals in a near-critical state."
The survey also explored the growing popularity of telehealth services and what the future could hold for virtual care.
Most respondents said that telehealth will have the most staying power for routine care for patients with chronic conditions. The four other major areas that telehealth is expected to have a major impact in care delivery are in infectious disease screenings (14.6%), mental and behavioral health (14.4%), post hospital discharge follow up (7.7%), and post-surgical care, (3.5%).
Jack O'Brien is the finance editor at HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.