Health Systems Losing Money on Employed Physicians During COVID-19

Health systems are facing a mean subsidy, or loss, of $227K per employed physician, while hospitals continue to underperform due to COVID-19, Kaufman Hall reports. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is creating a perfect storm for health systems, which appear to be taking hits on both the hospital and physician practice sides of their business. The latest National Hospital Flash Report from consulting firm Kaufman Hall found that the median hospital operating margin index is well below 2019 performance at 2.7 percent year-to-date through September even with federal aid from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding. Without CARES Act funding, the median hospital operating margin index is -1.9 percent. Additionally, the Kaufman Hall earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) margin index was well below 2019 performance, standing at 7.5 percent year-to-date with CARES Act funding and 3.2 percent without funding from the CARES Act. Mea

It’s Time to Permanently Expand Telemedicine

Telemedicine has helped millions during COVID-19, and its expansion needs to stay after the pandemic is over. THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC is nothing my medical school training could ever have prepared me for. As a neurologist, I have witnessed strains on my patients, colleagues and the medical institution where I work up close. In my headache medicine practice, I have started to see a rising number of people with cases or suspected cases of COVID-19 complaining of new or worsening headaches.[ READ: Telehealth Continues Rapid Growth Amid Coronavirus Pandemic ] Fortunately, because of federal and state changes allowing for expanded coverage of telemedicine and because private insurers have followed along, I have been able to see these patients safely and without risk of exposure. Before the pandemic, telemedicine coverage by neurologists was largely limited, often restricted to rural communities and cases of stroke care. Just a few months before the pandemic, I hesitated to adopt telemedi

Trends in the Use of Telehealth During the Emergence of the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, January–March 2020

 States, January–March 2020 by LEVEL Medical Billing | Mar 20, 2021 | iMAX Medical Billing Insights Summary What is already known about this topic? Use of telehealth (the remote provision of clinical care) early during the COVID-19 pandemic has not been well characterized. What is added by this report? The 154% increase in telehealth visits during the last week of March 2020, compared with the same period in 2019 might have been related to pandemic-related telehealth policy changes and public health guidance. What are the implications for public health practice? Telehealth could have multiple benefits during the pandemic by expanding access to care, reducing disease exposure for staff and patients, preserving scarce supplies of personal protective equipment, and reducing patient demand on facilities. Telehealth policy changes might continue to support increased care access during and after the pandemic.Article Metrics Altmetric: News (2) Twitter (149) Facebook (1) Citations: Views:V

Getting paid for telemedicine services

Elizabeth Woodcock explains the policies surrounding telemedicine, as well as what services are reimbursable and how payment is received.     Elizabeth Woodcock explains the policies surrounding telemedicine, as well as what services are reimbursable and how payment is received.

Leveraging clinical documentation improvement for post-COVID financial recovery

CDI can be a critical initiative that not only increases reimbursement revenue but also enhances the patient experience. In the wake of COVID-19, physician practices faced a myriad of challenges creating a contactless and consumer-friendly patient experience, ramping up telehealth services, and transitioning non-clinical staff to work from home. Given these priorities, it’s understandable that clinical documentation improvement, or CDI, didn’t see much attention during the first half of 2020. However, as providers shift from triaging day-to-day patient flow issues to focusing on financial resilience, CDI can be a critical initiative that not only increases reimbursement revenue but also enhances the patient experience.  How CDI helps practices financially and clinically Now that COVID-19 is beginning to plateau and patients are returning for “in person” visits, providers can once again turn their focus to CDI to achieve the host of benefits it offers. By focusing on quality clinical do

Practice Financing Part 2: Patient Lending Programs

In part 2 of our discussion with Banker’s Healthcare Group, hear from the President of Patient Lending, Keith Gruebele, on how these programs can benefit your practice by extending the amount of patients that can receive and finance your services. In our last episode, we featured the first part of our Practice Financing discussion with Chris Panebianco, CMO of Bankers Healthcare Group, on loans and credit cards for physician practices. This week, we continue our practice financing discussion with a focus on patient lending services. Your ultimate goal as a healthcare provider is to provide the care that you spent years training to perfect. However, to provide care to all patients rests upon the presumption that patients will be able to pay for services. In an ideal world, this would be the case. But sometimes, some patients present with an ailment that must be treated regardless of the cost; the challenge comes in mitigating the cost responsibility In these instances, practices can tur

Thriving through better claims and collections

  How an independent practice grew through optimizations and consolidation Current revenue cycle management (RCM) processes in some practices may be well established, but there is always room for improvement and optimizations. At MGMA’s virtual Medical Practice Excellence Conference, Lawrence Jones, MD, partner and physician of One Pediatrics; and Daniel Pope, senior vice president and general manager at R1 RCM, presented “Thriving Financially through Better Claims and Collections”. One Pediatrics, Dr. Jones’ practice, started out as an independent practice founded in 2014. Now a total of seven integrated practices all operate independently across nine locations, comprised of over 40 providers. In 2019, the practice group recorded 179,000 visits, roughly 35% of which came from the Lousiville market. During the time from establishment through the present day, Jones says that his practice was increasingly challenged by hospital groups that purchased smal