The Legacy of 2020
Published Dec. 31, 2020
When it comes to 2020, the best that can be said isn’t that it’s within hours of ending but that there must be a pony in here somewhere.
Any year earlier would not have had the technology of Messenger RNA[iii] to create vaccines in about nine months. Bygone decades predated the global instant communication afforded by the Internet and lacked the ability to read the genome of the virus.[iv] Dare we imagine the carnage had COVID struck prior to computer-controlled ventilator development.[v]
Norberg’s research indicates that “mankind has attained more wealth than ever” over the past 20 years, contending that global poverty, child mortality, chronic undernourishment and illiteracy “all declined faster than ever.”
If you’re wondering what all this has to do with a pony, that references a punchline made famous by President Ronald Reagan. It’s a tale that defines an optimist as like a child who wakes up Christmas morning to find a heap of horse manure under the tree instead of neatly wrapped presents. “With all this manure,” the child tells as his parents as he shovels it aside, “there must be a pony in here somewhere.”
Remote Medical Services Cost Savings
John Goodman[vi], who runs an institute devoted to advancing cost-efficient healthcare the likes of health savings accounts that he championed, identifies some other COVID byproducts of a saving-grace nature. He discussed this with Newt Gingerich, former Speaker of the House, in a September video.[vii]
Any of us who’ve seen a doctor this year for anything routine likely did so via telemedicine. The COVID crisis made telemed available to those on Medicare through a Trump administration executive order. According to Goodman, only one in three doctor visits need to be in person, and half of those treated in emergency rooms don’t need to be there.
“We’re on the verge of real change,” he said in September, citing the development of consumer health diagnostic instruments such as pulse oximeters that read blood oxygen levels and cost little more than an oral thermometer.
From blood pressure kits to A1C blood level assessments, at-home care with remote access to a physician has never been more within reach. Then too fitness trackers have morphed into app-crazy smart watches that grade sleep, monitor heart rate and rhythm, measure blood oxygen level, and can even call for help if you fall.
Salvaging Some Good
Technology, incentivized by the pandemic, has broadened the reach of selfcare and reduced medical costs in so doing.
As the ball drops on 2020 tonight in an empty Times Square, Auld Lang Syne holds hope that we can salvage some lasting benefit from challenges and tragedies of a year unlike any other.
Hopefully, that pony will give us a smooth ride throughout 2021.
The OptiMed Health team wishes you a healthy and prosperous New Year.
to our Broker Partners
As 2020 draws to a close, not sure whether to quote Dickens:
“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times…”
Or if the sentiments of Thomas Paine are more appropriate:
“These are the times that try men’s souls.”
We hope for you, as for us at OptiMed Health, 2020 was a year you were able to endure in good health and sustain financial stability. We sincerely thank you for the trust you’ve extended to us in enrolling new or renewing groups into one or more of our healthcare products. It’s been our privilege to partner with you.
Our sincerest sympathies if this horrible pandemic has adversely affected business to a devastating extent or, worse yet, inflicted grievous personal loss. While our words are feeble, our sentiments are sincere.
We surge onward together, hopeful for a “normalized” 2021 overflowing with opportunity.
Thank you again – very much, and best wishes always.
President and CEO, OptiMed