The Significant Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic On Medical Billing

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COVID-19’s Impact on Medical Billing

The pandemic continues to rob more lives. Many have lost their jobs. Hospitals and private practices throughout the United States are facing severe economic losses due to the sharp decline in outpatient and non-urgent treatment procedures. The profit decline poses a huge threat to healthcare organizations. That’s why focusing on your billing operations right now is critical.

Impact on Medical Practices

According to an Inbox Health Survey of 1200 medical billers, 21% of the respondents forecast that 10-25% of their practices may close their practice within the next six months. Another 18% of respondents said they expect that 25-50% of their practices will shut their doors. Congress has provided over $100 billion to help medical practices, hospitals, doctors, and other healthcare professionals in the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund through the Coronavirus Assistance, Relief and Economic Stability (Treatment) Act, or the Provider Relief Package. But it may not be enough.

 

Impact on Patient Interactions and Collections

Almost all of the 1,200 Inbox Health Survey respondents saw a significant drop in their patient interactions. The drop in patient interaction resulted in a 10% to 25% drop in collections. And that problem has intensified as patients struggle to cope with a weakened economy.

 

Responding to the Medical Financial Crisis

Consider the following vital keys for financial sustainability and survival amidst the pandemic:

  1. Adapt to the rapidly changing rules and regulations in billing and coding, especially with Medicare and Medicaid.
  2. Take note of the following questions regarding Telehealth
  • Is the insurance firm going to pay the total rate? 
  • Is further documentation needed? 
  • Are the approvals required?
  1. Tighten remote medical billing plans to minimize cash flow issues
  2. Account for changes in copays and deductibles
  3. Record changes in standard referral requirements
  4. Optimize your resources according to a surge or drop in patient volume
  5. Adjust operational accommodations

 

How to Survive the Impact of COVID-19 in Medical Billing

Opening healthcare facilities and enhancing medical billing systems are essential objectives for healthcare organizations recovering from global pandemic. According to research from Strata Decision Technology, there was a large decline in inpatient procedures during the early stages of the pandemic. Consequently, it drove the US healthcare to a major clinical and financial crisis. Thus, healthcare professionals need to focus on the following keys to generate revenues and rebuild their financial capacity: 

  • Gain the patient’s trust and confidence
  • Secure necessary supplies for a patient surge
  • Conduct strict precautionary measures in the clinic
  • Provide telehealth services
  • Implement a safe social distancing plan in the clinic
  • Adapt innovative healthcare technologies like telemedicine

 

How can Telemedicine Help in Post-COVID? 

The implementation of telemedicine services is one of the most important advances in health care due to the pandemic. During the first few months of COVID-19, CMC reports that over 9 million patients received telemedicine services. 

 

For hospitals and clinicians suffering from a drop in patient volumes and income, telemedicine technologies have become a blessing for safe remote healthcare treatments. However, there’s been a  rapid increase in in-person volumes with the reopening of clinics. Is telemedicine a temporary emergency aid?  Industry experts say no. COVID-19 has forced the world to welcome a new healthcare normal and telemedicine will continue to play a crucial role.  

 

What is the Future of Medical Billing? 

COVID-19 has created new healthcare communication and billing challenges. According to a survey from the Urban Foundation, this recession could significantly change health insurance coverage. The study estimates that over 2.9 million recipients will become uninsured by the end of the year because of unemployment. The change in the insurance policy model will result in major shifts in payer billing strategies. With more people choosing a high-deductible insurance policy, healthcare professionals are looking closer at forms of self-pay. In conclusion, healthcare providers need to be nimble in how they deal with payments from patients and insurance providers.

 

Providing you with the Best

At 1st Providers Choice, we understand the need for a higher level of performance and high-quality functioning of medical billing software. That’s why we only offer the best medical billing system features that will allow your practice to operate at its optimum potential, boosting your revenue growth.

 

You can call us at (480) 782-1116 for immediate assistance, or you can schedule a free demo with our experts TODAY.