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How COVID-19 Is Changing the Medical Billing Process

November 19, 2020

The pandemic continues to overwhelm the globe. Economies are in a recession. And hospitals and private practices throughout the United States are absorbing a lot of the brunt. They are barely holding on due to the decline of outpatient and non-urgent treatment procedures. In addition, the pandemic also brought a lot of changes in medical billing. Thus, adapting to your practice’s survival has never been more critical. 

How Medical Practices are Thriving

The Inbox Health Survey reports that 21% of 1200 medical billers forecast that 10-25% of their practices may shut their doors for the next six months. Luckily, over $100 billion has been provided by the US Congress to help medical practices, hospitals, doctors, and other healthcare professionals through the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund. However, many fear that it may not be enough.

Changes in Patient Interactions and Collections

Most of the 1,200 Inbox Health Survey respondents observed a great decline in their patient volume and interactions. Subsequently, it results in a 10% to 25% drop in collections. It intensifies the struggle to survive and cope in the middle of a global pandemic and recession. 

How to Cope with the Medical Financial Crisis

The following are the vital keys that you need to consider to cope and survive and achieve financial sustainability amidst the pandemic:

  1. Adjust operational accommodations
  2. Record changes in standard referral requirements
  3. Adapt to the rapidly changing rules and regulations in billing and coding, especially with Medicare and Medicaid.
  4. Take note of the following questions regarding Telehealth: 
  • The total sum of coverage
  • Extra documentation for medical necessity
  • Prior authorizations and required approvals
  1. Tighten remote medical billing plans to minimize cash flow issues
  2. Account for changes in copays and deductibles
  3. Optimize your resources according to a surge or drop in patient volume

How to Adapt Effectively to the Changes

For healthcare organizations struggling to cope with the pandemic, it is vital to keep their facilities open and to improve their medical billing operations. The Strata Decision Technology reported a massive drop in inpatient procedures at the start of the pandemic. Here are some keys to generating revenues and rebuilding financial capacity: 

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

Telemedicine’s Role in the New Normal

Telemedicine services and technologies have been the greatest help in medical advances in health care due to the pandemic. It played a great role in keeping healthcare organizations afloat and lowering the risk of infection for patients. Undoubtedly, it will continue to do so in the post-COVID era. The CMC even reports that telemedicine catered to over 9 million patients during the first few months of the pandemic.

Telemedicine technologies made it possible for healthcare facilities to provide safe treatments to non-COVID and COVID patients. It enables small practices to continue their operations and even extend the lengths of their services. Patients can easily book their consultations online. It opened new gates of healthcare convenience, proving to the world that it is not just a mere temporary aid for the pandemic. Hopefully, it will continue to widen the scope of remote services well into the future. 

Tap Into Our Expertise

At 5 Star Medical Billing, we offer the highest level of performance for high-quality medical billing. Let us help you during these dire times.

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