The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted nearly every facet of our lives in recent months. We've all had to adapt to a new normal of social distancing measures and lockdown orders. Health insurance companies have not been immune to these changes and they too have had no choice but to evolve in this rapidly changing world. As restrictions are relaxed and practices return to business (though perhaps not business as usual), it is important for healthcare providers to be aware of how health insurance companies have been affected by this unprecedented event.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: As of April 26, 2020, CMS has suspended the Advanced Payment Program, effective immediately, and is reevaluating the Accelerated Payment Program. CMS Press Release on Program Suspension The current COVID-19 pandemic has impacted specialty practices across the country and around the world, resulting in low patient volumes and decreased revenues. As part of the CARES Act, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) authorized relief to providers in the form of Advanced Medicare Payments. However, it is important for providers to note that this Advance Payment Program is an interest free loan, not a grant.
As we have recently been launched into a new year, now is a good opportunity to find new areas for improvement. Reviewing and reflecting on performance allows specialty practices to identify areas in which they can work better, as well as determine ways to make processes more streamlined, reliable and patient-friendly. How should specialty practices figure out if their current operations have room for improvement? Here are three areas that can reveal potential opportunities.
With the holiday season upon us, people are searching for the right present for friends and family. But what about a specialty practice? Could it benefit from a little holiday cheer? One item at the top of many healthcare organizations’ wish lists is better insight into business performance. As specialty practices aim to prevent revenue leakage, meet rising consumer expectations and effectively participate in value-based care arrangements, it can be difficult to know where it’s best to focus time and resources. Fortunately, robust business analytics is the perfect gift to guide strategic decision-making this holiday season, and one that keeps on giving throughout the year. Here are three areas where strong analytics can make a difference in a specialty practice:
Attracting and retaining patients is a constant priority for physicians, and plastic surgeons are no exception. Without a focused strategy for drawing patients into a practice, organizations can experience slow periods, retention problems and a lack of repeat business that can all impact revenue flow. How does this affect you?
When specialty practices want to strengthen their balance sheets, they can either cut costs or increase revenue. Although pursuing both options is probably wise, finding opportunities to boost the flow of dollars into a practice can be a more positive and ultimately lucrative way of ensuring optimal financial performance. Yet, specialty physicians sometimes struggle to identify new revenue sources. The good news is that it may be easier than you think. By leveraging your electronic medical record (EMR) and practice management (PM) systems to enhance the reliability and consistency of the following key activities, an organization can make meaningful strides in increasing the amount of money coming into the practice.
As specialty practices begin to embrace value-based care models, many providers are considering technology that allows them to better capture information about the patient encounter, streamline financial operations and meet reporting requirements. Although this is a smart strategy, practices must be careful to not just bolt on solutions that operate in siloes. Instead, they should look for technology that seamlessly integrates with other solutions, facilitating information exchange, enabling smoother processes and limiting the likelihood that key information will slip through the cracks.
As health care organizations aim to tighten their business processes to drive revenue and increase cash flow, specialty practices sometimes find themselves behind the curve, unsure of where to begin to improve performance. Part of the reason is there are some common misconceptions about the revenue cycle and the best ways to optimize it.