EDGE has become an annual Nextech tradition over the last eight years, one that our staff and clients look forward to. With the onset of COVID and the resulting pandemic in early 2020, of course, our last EDGE event had to be moved to a fully virtual environment. While the online format of EDGE 2021 was a success, many attendees missed the fun and camaraderie they remembered from EDGEs in the past.
Roughly a year and a half ago, the sudden spread of COVID-19 quickly turned telehealth solutions into necessary tools for specialty practice as they struggled to continue providing care when lockdowns and forced closures were put in place. While the widespread use of connected care was already on the horizon, there is no doubt that the current levels of telehealth adoption were heavily accelerated by the pandemic. This began when a large number of states enacted temporary waivers of preexisting HIPAA rules and other regulations to allow for faster and easier use of telehealth solutions during the public health emergency.
The COVID-19 pandemic definitely shined a spotlight on the topic of burnout, especially among providers and staff working in hospitals or first-responder environments. Now, as the pandemic winds down, these healthcare workers are finally starting to experience a bit of relief. However, for providers in specialty practices, the opposite is occurring. Workloads for specialty practices are actually ramping up now, as patients feel safe enough to return for elective procedures that were delayed during the pandemic. Sadly, specialty providers have already been ranked among the top sufferers of burnout for over five years now. This is why it is so important for specialty practices to address burnout now, to avoid allowing this new surge to damage productivity.
As the pandemic winds down and cases of COVID-19 continue dropping in the United States, new rounds of regulatory changes should be expected as part of the return to normalcy. Among the most recent are new OSHA guidelines for healthcare workers per the U.S. Labor Department. In this blog, we will examine some of the main points of this new guidance.
Slow lead response times could be resulting in lost patients, and as a result, lost opportunities for future revenue. In fact, one study found that the odds of even being able to contact a potential lead decrease by over ten times in the first hour. In this blog, we will take a look at the importance of prompt lead response times and illustrate how failure to maintain them could be costing your practice new patients (and the future sales revenue that comes with them).
Without a doubt, the pandemic shined a big spotlight on the need for more online/digital solutions—not just for use in healthcare, but in nearly all forms of business. This included, of course, the need for better digital payment solutions. These digital payment solutions have become far more than just a convenience (though they are that, as well). In fact, they are quickly becoming the current and future standard for all financial transactions in every facet of commerce.
It is safe to say that 2020 was a difficult year for a lot of people, financially and otherwise. When it comes to increased financial responsibility for healthcare, it was an especially difficult year for most patients. According to new research, the average consumer spent considerably more money on healthcare than they did only a few short years ago. This trend of increased financial burden on patients is likely going to continue in 2021 and will be further exacerbated by higher healthcare prices.
As we covered in a previous blog, patient demand for better online and digital payment options has long been on the rise. In a world where everyone is connected online, physical “check in the mail” payments are quickly becoming an antiquated practice. Online payments are no longer seen as an alternative means of payment but have become very much the standard for today’s consumers.