By: Greg Falconer, President and General Manager, iVitaFi
To begin, I’d like to share our company’s appreciation for our nation’s healthcare workers—from front-line clinicians caring for those affected by COVID-19, to the many teams working to find a vaccine, to the nurses at the bedside, and to the operational and financial teams working to mitigate the impact of this challenging situation. We are fortunate to have such amazing colleagues in healthcare.
We have been meeting with healthcare leaders across the country to discuss how they are handling the COVID-19 pandemic and the ways in which we could help. One message came through loud and clear: protecting the revenue cycle and cashflow is now more critical than ever.
While the pain points I heard are similar to problems we talk about with our clients every day, they are now magnified and laser-focused on key areas that many leaders are struggling to tackle simultaneously. These include maintaining HIPAA compliance with a remotely distributed workforce, a critical need for operating cash to offset the loss of revenue from canceled elective procedures, and cost increases related to treating the pandemic.
Remote workers and HIPAA compliance
Financial departments at hospitals are challenged with redistributing their teams and processes to a secure, remote environment. Some were not prepared to have 100% of employees equipped to work from home at a moment’s notice and are having to quickly locate new equipment and the IT support that comes with it. They are also struggling to build new operational processes and take care of concerned employees.
Leaders now face significant challenges, including: how to enable employees to manage secure printing and filing process for workers’ compensation claims from a home environment; ensuring remote employees can access remote servers and the VPN; how to leverage their existing building footprint to separate on-site employees by six feet; and how to maintain or augment their current staffing model. These are just a few of the questions that need to be quickly addressed in order to sustain operational margins and achieve daily KPIs for claims submission, collections, and A/R days.
Reduced revenue and increased costs
One of the most significant hits to hospitals and physicians is the loss of revenue from cancelation of elective procedures. The impact is expected to run into millions of dollars per hospital, reducing revenue by 25 percent to 40 percent a month on average. At the same time, hospitals are having to rapidly increase their procurement spend to reconfigure wards, build temporary “tent” hospital space for more ICU beds, and to purchase more ventilators and protective equipment for staff. Faced with these new expenses and the loss of significant revenue streams, many hospitals are turning to furloughs, wage freezes, and cost-reduction plans.
How iVitaFi can help
To address the increased costs from COVID-19, hospitals and patients alike need a way to quickly access cash, and revenue cycle leaders need a partner that can help offset the significant structural changes to how they do business. iVitaFi can help:
- Our no interest, non-recourse lending program for all patients can help accelerate a hospital’s cash as hospitals are funded right after patient discharge, with no fear of triggering a recourse event later.
- Reduce patient leakage by establishing a reusable healthcare line of credit for a guarantor’s entire family to use, which means they’re more likely to stay within your network.
- Revenue cycle leaders can offer new patient accounts our non-recourse lending program, while our staff helps manage those accounts. This helps hospitals get reimbursed right after discharge while reducing work for the billing office, which is of added value as they adjust to working remotely.
If you’re looking for a new financing partner to help you address the unprecedented financial challenges brought about by this pandemic, I invite you to contact me or one of our team members so we can discuss your specific challenges and how our payment plan options can benefit both you and your patients. We can also discuss conducting a data study to identify opportunities for financial improvements through a non-recourse lending program. If you would like to schedule a call, please reach out to me.
The financial challenges brought about by COVID-19 are likely to last long after the pandemic has subsided. Taking steps now to protect your bottom line can help lessen the burden for both you and your patients in a post-pandemic world. While our daily lives are being affected, our commitment to helping our nation’s healthcare system will not waiver. Our experienced team of compassionate executives are committed to helping your hospital sustain financial health while helping your patients afford the care they need and achieve financial wellness.