The loss of Physicians Regional Medical Center in 2018 prompted Knoxville’s highly consolidated integrated delivery network sector to invest in multiyear renovation and expansion plans to help reduce emergency-room overcrowding and redirect patient flow. In addition to a new expansion at the nearby Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, Knoxville’s IDNs are racing to build the market’s first dedicated behavioral health facility to treat psychiatric patients who often end up in a hospital’s ER. In addition to these capital developments, Knoxville is home to a new Cigna+Oscar small employer plan, successful recent performance in local ACOs, and significant investment in orthopedics, all which suggest Knoxville providers are on the verge of diving deeper into risk-based care, potentially for joint replacement. While prescription drug uptake and adherence may suffer during the COVID-19 pandemic, the long-term outlook is positive given the market’s above-average number of prescribers and the growing availability of both inpatient and outpatient specialty care.

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