4 Ways to Keep Your Clinic Revenue Up Amid the Pandemic
Posted by Paolo Gabriel Demillo
Although hospitals have received the brunt of COVID-19 patients, private medical offices across the country are also facing a battle of their own. The hard reality of declining revenue may leave more than a few practices to close their doors. However, benefit and aid programs can go a long way toward helping supplement that revenue.
With the decline in patient visits and mass cancellation, or outright bans, of elective procedures, the current situation is only sustainable for so long. Thankfully there are other ways to earn and make money during this pandemic that might yield better long term benefits and allow your practice to stay in business.
Aid and Benefit Programs Are Available
Although faced with different challenges, each sector in the healthcare industry is going through the same general economic strain brought by the coronavirus. That’s why now is the time to take full advantage of the several aid and benefit programs available.
1. MIPS Flexibilities
Due to the current public health crisis, many clinicians find it challenging to meet the performance requirements of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) program. Easing the burden, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are providing eligible clinicians a chance to apply for exceptions. It will let you “reweight any or all of the MIPS performance categories for performance year 2020.”
CMS also announced two new ways to earn credit under the MIPS improvement activities performance category. To obtain these extra points, clinicians can either:
- Participate in a COVID-19 clinical trial and enter the information into a platform for that study; or
- Treat COVID-19 diagnosed patients and report the patient data to a clinical data registry for future studies
2. Self-Isolation Counseling Reimbursement
To reduce transmission of the coronavirus, CMS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently began offering a reimbursement program for providers who advise their patients “about the importance of self-isolation after they are tested and prior to the onset of symptoms.”
Regardless of where the test is administered, eligible providers can bill CMS for counseling services.
3. Higher Telehealth Reimbursements
Since the start of the outbreak, remote visits have been instrumental in continuing the delivery of care to patients. With more relaxed regulations and policies, centered mainly around incentivizing providers to offer more virtual care services, there are more opportunities now to earn revenue through Telehealth.
With a newly signed Executive Order to improve rural healthcare and Telehealth access, Telehealth will likely continue developing as a crucial element of patient care.
4. Provider Relief Fund
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has extended the deadline of application to Friday, August 28, 2020, for a large amount of federal aid. The cut-off point is for a “distribution of approximately $15 billion from the Provider Relief Fund to eligible Medicaid, CHIP, and Dental providers that have not received a payment from the Provider Relief Fund General Distribution.”
If you are eligible for this program, this could be the boost that your practice needs to restart or begin reversing the pandemic’s adverse financial effects.
Improving Office Efficiency Saves Time and Money
In these uncertain times, when patient visits and procedures are few and far between, generating income for your practice can be tough, and might even feel hopeless. However, something as simple as improving office efficiency can still go a long way in cutting costs and reducing unnecessary expenses.
Through a combination of assistance packages, benefits programs, a robust Telehealth solution, and other effective cost-saving measures, you can continue to deliver quality care to your patients while sustaining your practice, no matter what comes next.