Archives     Advertise     Editorial Calendar     Subscribe     Contact Us    

Health Care Council Explores the Road to Economic Recovery

Arthur Laffer

While the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt America's health and finances, the Nashville Health Care Council hosted two top economists in June to discuss their expectations for the nation's economy moving forward. Council members heard perspectives from Larry Van Horn, associate professor and executive director of Health Affairs at Vanderbilt's Owen Graduate School of Management and Arthur Laffer, widely known as "the father of supply-side economics."

The pair analyzed the effect of the pandemic on healthcare businesses and emphasized their overall sunny outlook for an improving U.S. economy in the coming months.

Van Horn shared data insights revealing that outpatient volumes saw an average decline of 55 percent across the country from mid-March through May, while emergency medical care experienced anywhere from 20-50 percent in decline. He emphasized that there is a tremendous amount of variability by state - areas that were hardest-hit by the virus saw the greatest patient volume losses. However, as of early June, office visits had bounced back in many places by 30 percent. If visits continue to increase at the same rate, he says, a normal volume could be seen by the end of summer.

The pandemic is also having a dramatic effect on healthcare delivery through telehealth. Utilization of telehealth services skyrocketed from virtually no visits earlier this year to an average of one million telehealth visits per day by mid-April. Since this peak, the numbers have decreased by about 30 percent, and it remains to be seen where it will level off.

"This experience was certainly a boost for telehealth, pushing the market to adapt to the model. We expect utilization to continue at a level higher than it was pre-COVID-19," Van Horn said. "Patients have come to expect it as an option, so we will see persistent demand for telehealth over time."

Arthur Laffer has decades of experience in studying economic highs and lows, having advised many national and world leaders on economic policy since the 1980s. His take on the country's current financial position was relatively positive.

"The U.S. was well-prepared for COVID-19. We had the right healthcare provisions in place, in addition to a great economic position. The initial hit was less than people thought it was going to be. Hospitals have done great work to tackle the learning curve, and they are much better prepared now to treat coronavirus patients than they were just a few months ago," Laffer said.

Laffer pointed out that the stock market has been creeping up since it crashed in mid-March. While some industries such as cruises, airlines and commercial real estate will take a while to recover, he believes most industries will bounce back quickly.

As for the future of the healthcare system, both speakers emphasized pricing transparency as a solution that will drive costs down and make people healthier, which is needed more than ever as 30 million more people are at risk of losing their health insurance alongside their jobs due to the economic downturn.

"There are some benefits to downturns," Laffer said. "They lead to 'creative destruction,' a concept coined by economist Joseph Schumpeter. Basically, it causes the market to do-away with long-standing practices that don't work anymore to make way for innovation. These events can lead to stronger and more creative companies emerging for an even greater comeback in the years to come."

This virtual event was held as part of a series of in-depth conversations hosted by the Nashville Health Care Council for its members. Like other organizations, the Council is creatively shifting to meet the needs of its members in safe and productive ways. While in-person events are postponed for now due to social distancing guidelines, the Council is offering a variety of new ways for members to learn and engage through virtual opportunities.

Katie Schlacter is founder and principal of Schlacter Consulting, a strategic communications company serving the healthcare industry, start-ups and non-profits. Schlacter has more than 15 years of experience working with healthcare CEOs and executives. For more information, go to


Nashville Health Care Council


Related Articles:

Recent Articles

Spectrum Solutions Collaborates with UCLA on Saliva-Based Next-Gen Sequencing (NGS) Liquid Biopsy Research for the Early Detection of Lung Cancer

Study to focus on using saliva in the analysis of cell-free circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) to accurately and non-invasively detect non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Read More


Yesterday, counsel for the American Hospital Association and the five other national groups and three individual hospital systems that sued the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) over its failure to halt drug company actions that undermine the 340B drug pricing program sent letters demanding that the offending drug companies immediately halt their illegal activities.

Read More

Study Shows Drastic Increases in Opioid-Affected Births

The rate of mothers who had an opioid-related diagnosis when delivering their baby increased by 131% from 2010-2017, as the incidence of babies diagnosed with drug withdrawal, known as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), increased by 82% nationally during that same time period.

Read More

Case Management: Enhancing Revenue, Care Transitions and Patient Outcomes throughout the Hospital System

The importance of hospital and health system case management has grown exponentially over the past 10 years and is now getting attention from leaders throughout the healthcare industry.

Read More

TennCare Block Grant Waiver Approved

More than a year after submitting Amendment 42 to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requesting a waiver to increase flexibility in the administration of the state's Medicaid program, Tennessee has received an affirmative nod to move forward.

Read More

OptumInsight and Change Healthcare Combine to Advance a More Modern, Information and Technology-Enabled Health Care Platform

Accelerates work to improve outcomes and experiences and lower the cost of health care

Read More

AHA Statement On Dc Circuit Court Of Appeals Decision On Mandated Disclosure Of Negotiated Rates

Read More


Read More

Sen. Alexander's Farewell Address

Read More

Alexander: Congress Set to End Surprise Medical Billing

Proposal to protect patients from surprise medical bills and resolve payment disputes between providers and insurers included in government funding legislation that the Congress will vote on this week

Read More

Email Print



Arthur Laffer, Healthcare Finance, Larry Van Horn, Nashville Health Care Council, Reimbursement
Powered by Bondware
News Publishing Software

The browser you are using is outdated!

You may not be getting all you can out of your browsing experience
and may be open to security risks!

Consider upgrading to the latest version of your browser or choose on below: