Recent reports show some recovery for hospitals after the initial devastation caused by COVID-19. March through May saw an unprecedented drop in hospital service volume, which led to staggering financial losses. In June, many hospitals resumed regular care and patients returned for past-due elective procedures driving financial margins to near-normal levels.
Unfortunately, and even combining these near-normal service levels with substantial federal relief from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, most hospitals throughout the nation are operating at year-to-date margins significantly below viable levels.
There is no doubt that COVID-19 has disrupted the way medical care is delivered and paid. It is uncertain what the long-term impact to value-based arrangements will be. However, the overwhelming consensus is that value-based care is more important than ever and that this disruption may even boost adoption of value-based programs by highlighting the shortcomings of fee-for-service medicine.
One thing that is certain is the pandemic has exacerbated organizational weaknesses and tested everyone’s ability to adapt to new and evolving circumstances. Now is not the time for hospitals and health systems to stay the course. Now is the time to adopt flexible, data-driven strategies to pinpoint areas of strength and shore up areas of weakness. Specifically, hospitals must take stock of existing data and technology resources and learn to use them in new ways to better understand current and future drivers of quality, cost and revenue.
We recommend a focus on three essentials:
- Leverage existing data sources to understand and track true drivers of cost and quality
- Identify and prioritize patients and pain points to drive quality care, revenue and loyalty
- Integrate existing technology systems to act on findings
To dive into essential strategies, I invite you to download the white paper, Stop the Hemorrhage: Three Ways Hospitals Can Stabilize and Regain Revenue.