For many practices, it was the calm before the storm.
As the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 began to surge, practices prepared. They set up protocols, sought personal protective equipment (PPE), and implemented telehealth solutions.
The COVID-19 pandemic overwhelmed many healthcare organizations. But for others, it drew out the tide of routine visits and elective procedures and caused a decline in volume. For these practices, cash flow has become an urgent concern.
Volume, along with staffing, are two of the top concerns for practices today.
Variations in volume: For many practices, increased demand has introduced unfamiliar billing scenarios. How do you develop collections strategies for patients diagnosed with COVID-19? How do you stay up to date on the latest billing guidance from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)? Meanwhile, practices experiencing a decline in volume find they must shift gears quickly, possibly by implementing telehealth.
Resource issues: It’s not just staff calling in sick or in self-quarantine. Many staff are unable to report to work because of childcare responsibilities. About 40% of healthcare leaders surveyed by MGMA said they were experiencing staff shortages, often related to school closures due to COVID-19. Still other practice staff have been furloughed or laid off. Remaining staff may lack the experience to handle billing at the level this ever-changing situation demands.
How to make it work?
Achieving financial health — on a good day — means managing the full revenue cycle from the front office to the clinic to the back office. It involves everything from scheduling appointments to coding to submitting claims, as well as keeping an eye on key performance indicators (KPIs).
Days in accounts receivable (days in A/R), for example, tells you how long your practice takes to collect on its invoices. To learn more about tracking this KPI and other steps to protect cash flow, click here to read our recent blog. To listen to a webinar that explores these concepts in greater depth, click here.
When it comes to revenue cycle management, the process typically boils down to these five services:
But accomplishing these five steps isn’t easy, especially in the unchartered waters of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Forming a partnership
Many practices have found relief partnering with a billing service that understands the changing dynamics of billing and stays up to date on the new rules and regulations. With an experienced team monitoring cash flow, providers can focus on patient care.
In response to the financial pressures placed on practices by the pandemic, Greenway has rolled out GRS Express, a new offering from our Greenway Revenue Services portfolio. GRS Express focuses on the most critical aspects of ensuring cash flow and business continuity while still offering fast implementation — a rapid response for the COVID-19 crisis. It can be implemented in as little as two weeks and features a shorter-term contract than other Greenway Revenue Services offerings.
If you’re interested in learning more about GRS Express, please read on for details.
HOW PREPARED IS YOUR PRACTICE?
Take Greenway’s preparedness assessment to find out if your practice is prepared to meet the challenges we face today.