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Tips for Recouping Lost Revenue From COVID-19 Pandemic

Tips for Recouping Lost Revenue From COVID-19 Pandemic

Craig Adkins of AdvancedMD gives HealthIT Answers some tips of how to recoup some of the revenue lost during the pandemic in this article mention.

“The past few months of the pandemic have brought many challenges to physician practices, especially small, independent providers operating outside the domains of COVID-19 treatment. While mandatory shutdowns and quarantines have slowed the spread of the virus, the economic impact has been substantial. Fewer outpatient visits—and even fewer procedures—over the past several months have led to serious financial hardship for many providers.

Practices that will stay afloat during this challenging time are doing so strategically. In some cases, practices planned for a “rainy day” and had enough cash in reserve to keep their practices running. Many are also capitalizing on telehealth services, reconfiguring staffing and scheduling hours, and making revenue cycle management improvements to optimize collections performance.

Prepare to capture an eventual surge in patient volume
During the pandemic shutdown that is continuing to certain extent in some areas, patients with non-emergency conditions (and some with emergency conditions) postponed treatment, either by choice or because practices temporarily closed or limited patient visits. Most of these patients still need medical treatment so at some point there will be a surge in patient treatment demand.

In many areas of the U.S., outpatient volume is already trending upward so practices should begin now to analyze the level of patient volume needed, over the next few months, to recover their financial losses. This analysis will drive important decisions about future staffing and hours for providers and office staff. Returning to 100% of pre-COVID-19 visit volume will not be adequate to recover lost revenue. Practices will need to plan and think creatively about ways to capture as much patient volume as possible.

Here’s a closer look at some strategies for accomplishing this:

Maximize telemedicine
One way practices can see more patients is to maximize the use of telemedicine. Many providers successfully adopted telemedicine as a viable solution during the pandemic. Because of the positive results from the perspective of both providers and patients, many providers plan to make telemedicine a regular part of their practice. Because telemedicine is more efficient than in-office visits, practices can utilize this technology to capture more patient visits by training scheduling staff to

  • identify patients that are good candidates for telemedicine visits based on their condition and the purpose of the visit, and
  • educate patients on the benefits of telemedicine, such as saving time and travel and eliminating exposure to other patients.

Expand office hours
Practices that were operating at 100% of scheduling capacity before the pandemic will need to look at creative ways to expand their schedule if they want to capture some, or all, of the revenue they have lost. This will mean exploring extended hours and possibly weekend appointments, for a period of time…”

 

Read the entire article Here

 

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