Despite what appeared to be an upswing this spring, healthcare revenue seems to be on the downturn again this year. In a recent survey, 46% of CFOs and VPs reported being behind their projected financial goals for 2022. Even the industry’s biggest players have taken a hit. Becker’s cited a $934 million loss from Providence and a whopping $1.3 billion for Kaiser at the end of Q2…
“Much like the entire health care industry, we continue to address deferred care while navigating COVID-19 surges and associated expenses.”
- Kathy Lancaster, EVP and CFO, Kaiser Permanente
Many see this as the lingering effects of the pandemic. Critical labor shortages which peaked last fall are still impacting the workforce today in the form of continuous burnout and recruiting challenges. In a high-demand market, health systems are faced with brutal competition for all levels of staff— even administrative personnel. More than 80% claim a moderate to severe shortage in the workers necessary to manage duties critical to the revenue cycle.
Additionally, the pandemic has prompted changes in reimbursement structures, raising out-of-pocket costs that were already on the rise. And federal money allocated for covid relief has not been refunded— eliminating covid-related coverage for vaccinations, treatment, and the uninsured. Furthermore, this year’s inflation has pushed up operational costs and shrunk margins to ensure any post-covid gains are of insignificant value. But essentially, it all comes down to patient volumes.
"The main driver in the revenue decline… was a pulling back of volumes."
-Erik Swanson, Senior VP of Data and Analytics, Kaufman Hall
Prior perceived risk of contracting covid, the increased cost of care, the staffing challenges limiting the ability to offer care, and the inflated prices of necessities needed to provide care— all result in care delays which simply translates to lower volumes. Luckily, unlike the trajectory of a global pandemic, patient volumes are fully within our control.
Putting a greater emphasis on the beginning of the patient journey, by improving scheduling and access, has a compounding impact on revenue. If it seems obvious it’s because it is. Better control of scheduling means better utilization of your fully staffed hours. An efficient access workflow has the ability to minimize no-shows which are responsible for significant revenue loss annually, as much as $150 billion industry-wide. We’ve recorded an average monthly revenue boost of more than $250k for a single primary practice due to improvements in scheduling and access programs.
In addition to solving scheduling challenges, a strong patient access game can provide touches along the patient journey that keep patients engaged. From reactivation to service awareness campaigns, outreach alongside of well managed inbound calls offer a well-rounded approach to ensuring you are maximizing your volume potential… and it doesn’t have to be executed in-house, which means you can reap the benefits of FTE savings and reallocate essential internal resources.
What would a 30% improvement in scheduling volumes look like in revenue at your organization?
Envera provides fully customized solutions that meet the diverse needs of health systems across the nation. Our people plus tech strategy helps to fill in service gaps to ensure you are operating at full revenue potential— and we do it with a passion for care culture that you can trust.