A new slate of construction projects in Austin, including three new hospitals that opened in the last year alone, will help providers care for the growing number of newcomers and residents aging into Medicare. Competition among Austin’s payers will intensify and investment in innovative models like bundled payments and payer-owned walk-in clinics will increase as payers navigate the growing clout of the highly consolidated integrated delivery network sector. These IDNs align physicians on measures of cost and quality via clinically integrated networks and large, multispecialty practices, both of which are expected to grow as COVID-19 pushes smaller practices toward the clinical and financial strengths of larger groups. Pharma will benefit from increased prescriber access via new facilities and relaxed telemedicine laws from COVID-19, but an overall provider shortage, escalating uninsured rate, centralized IDN control, and a large number of ACOs that emphasize generic utilization serve as barriers to access for branded drugs.

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