Over the past several weeks, the world has experienced challenging circumstances that cross every socio-economic and commercial classification. It is rare to speak in absolute terms about anything, but the effects of COVID-19 fall into that seldom-used description: 100% of all people and all organizations have been impacted by the pandemic. All-consuming. All-encompassing.
For healthcare, a common sentiment might suggest that the business of healthcare has been left unscathed, as news reports spotlight the frontline efforts addressing the illness. And thank goodness that many brave professionals have sacrificed greatly for the betterment of broader society to stem the tide of this unpredictable yet wildly aggressive virus. But the business of healthcare has been impacted … in a very material way. What has been covered in the media, but not nearly as frequent as the current crisis, is the initial and lingering business challenges for routine healthcare. Elective procedures. Office visits. Routine check-ups. All of these services and more have been largely canceled or postponed. And the result? Billions of dollars of revenue have been delayed and possibly lost in the business of healthcare, resulting in private practices closing their doors, hospitals shrinking their services, and unfortunately, layoffs and furloughs for healthcare professionals across the nation and around the world. Challenging times that will continue to impact everyone for the foreseeable future.
There is a path forward to better results, and it will require innovative thinking and courage to “be different” and “better” than before. Healthcare leadership has two primary priorities. Always first – patient care. In healthcare at every level and for every situation, quality patient care is paramount to the viability of a healthcare organization of any size. Without a focus on the patient, there are no long-term strategies or tactics for success. A close second priority focuses on innovative business strategies. Simply stated, healthcare leaders must focus on revenue growth and expense management. “Outside-the-box” thought leadership will differentiate healthcare organizations and accelerate a return to stability. Innovative leaders should address all aspects of their healthcare business in a typical customer lifecycle approach – attract and acquire new patients, provide outstanding service, renew patient loyalty, and support patients and the organization through efficient processes.
Innovative forward-thinking initiatives include telehealth. Patients love the convenience, while physicians love appointments and billing opportunities. New thinking includes better allocation of nursing resources. Nurses are trained and motivated to help patients, not to do paperwork and make phone calls. Innovative ideas include additional revenue streams that can come from the same activities. Think of this idea as – making more money from doing the same thing. In healthcare, new revenue can emerge from maximizing newly authorized CMS billing codes for transitional care, telehealth, COVID-19 services and much more.
There is one key that ties all of these ideas together. Only one. An absolute singular approach. Connecting with patients in a timely and effective manner. The path forward for healthcare leadership will include a deliberate approach to connecting with patients better and more efficiently – in a more cost-effective manner. That means that healthcare leaders must embrace processes that make the best, most productive use of internal resources (doctors and nurses helping patients), while utilizing trusted advisors and partners to help them run their business and implement better methods to drive revenue and reduce costs.
At PREMEDEX, we are a trusted partner. Our team of clinical and non-clinical professionals connect with thousands of patients every day to identify immediate needs while also monitoring overall patient well-being. Equally important, PREMEDEX works every day to ensure alignment with the business needs of healthcare clients to maximize opportunities for growing revenue and improving patient satisfaction.
PREMEDEX understands the challenge and is focused on client success. Contact PREMEDEX today to learn how our solutions should be part of your path forward.