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Industry thought leaders share their predictions for 2023.

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The COVID-19 pandemic may be slowly receding, but its aftershocks continue to reverberate strongly across the country. The pandemic exposed both new and existent challenges for the American health care system. In particular, employers and health participants continue to grapple with staggering health care costs while health care inequities that existed before the pandemic were only worsened by COVID’s impact on racial and ethnic minority groups as well as those of lower socioeconomic status. At the MAHP (Massachusetts Association of Health Plans) 2022 Annual Health Care Conference held at the Seaport Hotel in Boston on November 17, the state’s acting governor, Charlie Baker, along with nationally recognized health care experts, spoke about such challenges as well as the opportunities that lie ahead — at both the state and federal level.

It is rather apparent that residents of Massachusetts, the third most densely populated state in the country, have done admirable work handling the rigors of the pandemic. Charlie Baker, Governor of Massachusetts and soon-to-be President of the NCAA, notes how during weekly conference calls held with other governors throughout 2020, the collective volunteering efforts on behalf of the commonwealth were drawing universal praise. Behind the bipartisan, results-driven leadership of the Baker administration, there was never a shortage of volunteers to run community-based testing sites for the millions at risk of contracting the coronavirus in Massachusetts, which, within the first five months of the pandemic, had more residents in the ICU than every other state except New York and New Jersey.

But as the COVID pandemic unfolded, it involved more than just respiratory illnesses and communicable diseases. Now, nearly three years removed from the onset of the pandemic, the number of COVID-related deaths and hospitalizations may be subsiding, but the residual effects endure throughout the state, including the well-documented exacerbated mental health crisis and mainstream acceptance of remote work. Even before the pandemic, Baker tried to incentivize employers with a tax credit to allow their employees to work from home to alleviate traffic congestion; naturally, the pandemic-induced shift to remote work has accelerated this welcome development.

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