A rise in patient demands, increasing cost of care, cutthroat competition, and insufficient staffing makes the present world of healthcare tough to navigate. Fortunately, there are ways to combat the difficult obstacles presented by the current state of healthcare.
Read on to learn how to improve patient satisfaction, streamline treatment, and increase the ROI of your healthcare organization.
Slash Fixed Costs to Increase Revenue Stream
Consider slashing — or eliminating, when possible — fixed costs such as rent for a brick-and-mortar location. The advancing options for telemedicine mean healthcare professionals can now handle multiple patient concerns (reviewing lab results, refilling prescriptions, basic follow-ups, etc.) through online video consults, while still generating income for your organization. Basing as many aspects of your practice as possible online can result in significant decreases in operating costs.
Video visits are also beneficial to patients. These online appointments are convenient, engaging, and comfortable for patients who are looking to save time or too ill to travel. Offering telehealth can also boost the competitive edge of your practice.
A recent study discovered that when patients are searching for a new healthcare provider, they prioritize access to care over face-to-face interactions with providers. These results indicate that offering an option that makes providers more accessible to patients can help you draw in new patients.
Eliminate Unmonetized Calls With Specialists and Providers
Telehealth can serve as a lower cost alternative to office-based visits for both providers and patients. A recent study discovered that an average trip to the doctor can cost the patient over $40 in lost time, in addition to the actual medical bill itself. Eliminating the time spent on commuting and sitting in the waiting room can save patients hassle and money, particularly if they suffer from a chronic condition that necessitates frequent visits.
Time spent with specialists can also be more easily monetized. Specialists can dial into a video appointment as needed to consult with the provider and the patient. This set up increases convenience, improves billability for both providers, and may assist in creating a more positive patient outcome.
Reduce the Penalties and Cost of Readmissions
During the fiscal year for 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services found that close to 2,600 hospitals will face penalties under the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP). Any inpatient stay that occurs within 30 days of discharge of their initial admission — whether at the same facility or a new location — is categorized as a readmission.
The readmission can be a result of any cause. The majority of readmissions are due to chronic lung disease, heart attacks, heart failure, coronary artery bypass graft surgery, and pneumonia.
As estimated by Kaiser Health News, preventable readmissions resulted in penalties totaling almost $530 million in 2016.
New companies in the field of digital health are creating solutions to help doctors and hospitals reduce admissions. The only way for hospitals and doctors to steer clear of these penalties is to change their behavior and engage patients.
Telehealth is full of possibility in terms of coaching patients while still trimming costs. By offering video appointments for patients, physicians can check in more often to be sure patients are following the prescription, exercise, and diet recommendations given to them. Consider implementing a video appointment program, especially for high-risk or elderly patients. This reduces Medicare spending and expenses while also making primary care more accessible.
The capacity to remotely connect with patients to check on treatment compliance is a crucial aspect of maintaining patient health and reducing the number of readmissions.
Physicians looking to boost profits can also expect additional benefits from telemedicine. For starters, clinicians with access to teleheath are capable of taking on more patients than traditional care modes would allow. Also, organizations are increasing their streams of revenue, despite the fact that standard video visits are less costly than face-to-face consults.
If you are looking to increase the ROI of your organization and improve overall patient experience, teleheath is worth considering. As cliché as it may sound, telemedicine possesses the ability to be a win-win for both patients and physicians.