The Money Is Out There

Ryan Sommers • Jun 29, 2020

It’s no secret the financial wellbeing of healthcare entities has plummeted with decreased patient service revenue amidst COVID-19.

While many of the circumstances are out of our control, we are confounding the problems by not addressing those that are.

I was working with a primary care office last week, where staff were transitioning from their old EHR to Epic. The MDs had already reduced their patient schedules for the transition, and then about midweek we heard from the Practice Manager that one of his docs had demanded him to “get these telehealth visits off my schedule”.

Seriously? They had already intentionally reduced their patient loads, were dealing with no show rates 2-3 times average due to COVID, and they wouldn’t use the quickest and safest option of all, that were originating at their patient’s requests?

I get it, there’s an element of care that gets lost with online/video appointments, and there is uncertainty in future reimbursement terms, but to avoid it altogether as a service offered, forgoing the revenue, currently at full in-person levels, is absurd given the times we are in.

Do telehealth visits. Do as may as you can. Consider it bonus revenue. It can make a significant impact to your income statements.

Then there is the CARES Act, which has money of some kind for everyone.

In addition to the paycheck protection program funds everyone knows about, $75 billion was set aside for hospitals and healthcare providers, and another $25 billion for COVID testing capabilities.

Within the CARES Act is also a $200 billion dollar fund set aside through the Federal Communication Commission and its COVID-19 Telehealth Program. To assist with the development and expansion of telehealth capabilities, this revenue stream can be used for internet/connectivity, devices, and vendor platforms/technology integration.

With the telehealth devices market set to grow by almost 20% a year for the next 5 years, reaching $8B, take a free piece of it now.

I’ll be posting more “free money” opportunities related to how you are using (or not using) your EHR in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

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