Recovering from COVID-19: How practices can maintain the revenue cycle in 2021

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Five tips for improving RCM in a post-pandemic world

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Hospital Association (AHA) estimates that hospitals and health systems have lost more than $202 billion from a drop in revenue, combined with COVID-19 expenses, during the four-month period from March to June 2020. Healthcare services expenditures also dropped 38% in April 2020, as compared to the previous year, and many practices are now contending more with patients who are unemployed or uninsured and unable to pay for doctor visits, specialty care and routine procedures. These numbers will undoubtedly rise, as nearly 27 million Americans could potentially become uninsured due to the pandemic.

Adjusting to new ways of operating during COVID-19 -- and maintaining the revenue cycle all the while – is critical as the industry continues to navigate uncertainties about reimbursement for virtual care and increasing numbers of patients losing their jobs.

With growing expenses and lower revenue, healthcare providers can no longer afford to wait weeks for payments to be processed or face extended reimbursement times because of denials and incorrect coding. Practices must put a stronger focus on revenue cycle management (RCM) in order to remain a viable business, reduce the risk of having to cut back on staff or practice hours, and continue delivering the services their patients expect.

About the Author

At Greenway Health, a leading health information technology and services provider, Marvin Luz serves as senior director, Greenway Revenue Services. With more than 13 years of experience in the ambulatory EHR and practice management market, he oversees the daily billing operations of revenue services for customers, ensuring compliance with divisional established policies and protocols, adherence to government and insurance payer policies and assurance of customer conflict resolution. In addition to his daily responsibilities, he also leads the Patient Call Center and Patient Accounts Receivable teams at Greenway.