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Patient Volume

Patient Volume

Patient Volume: How to Return to Your Previous Caseload

As stay-at-home directives were enacted and only emergency care was permitted, health care providers saw their patient volumes drop drastically—which is why 97 percent of all medical group practices have experienced a negative financial impact directly or indirectly related to COVID-19, according to a survey by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).1

MGMA health care patient volume declines with COVID-19

The MGMA survey also reports patient volume falling 60 percent since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. This drop affects health care more than other industries—where payment is received upon completion of service—because health care charges are usually filed through Medicare, Medicaid, or an insurance company, often causing payment to be deferred up to three months.2

Pandemic Impact on Consumer Behavior

But practices will not easily return to pre-pandemic caseloads as communities reopen, because the pandemic has been impacting health consumers' behavior due to trust and economics:

  • Anders Gilberg, MGMA's senior vice president of government affairs, stated in an announcement emailed to RevCycleIntelligence: "Patients are foregoing necessary preventive and even acute care out of fear of exposure."3
  • Seventy-eight percent of consumers in a PricewaterhouseCoopers Health Research Institute survey said they plan to skip at least one well visit, maintenance visit for a chronic illness, elective procedure, or recommended lab test or screening.4
  • As of the end of 2019, nearly half of all Americans received employer-sponsored health insurance5, but with the unemployment rate at 13.3 percent in May 20206, it's likely many will postpone or forgo their regular health care.
Pandemic Impact on Consumer Behavior

Ensure Safety, Build Trust

As stay-at-home directives are lifted, increasing your patient volume while ensuring patient and staff safety remains a priority—in both practice and perception. To keep patients safe, you must ensure you're following the latest pandemic-influenced protocols and considering the latest advances in care delivery. But to make patients feel safe, you'll need ways to communicate what you're doing to keep patients safe. Many patients who are seeking medical diagnosis and treatment will have concerns about COVID-19 infection.

Learn more in the following sections about how we can partner with you to bring back your patient volume and improve the health of your practice.

Patient Engagement After COVID-19
Patient Engagement

Ensure patients feel safe and confident that their experience will include the highest levels of care.

CMS Protocols for COVID-19 Screening, COVID-19 Sanitation, COVID-19 PPE, and COVID-19 Staff Training
New Protocols for Patients

Keep pace with the latest CMS standards for screening, sanitation, PPE, and staff training.

Telehealth and Virtual Care - medpod
Virtual Care

One of telehealth's many benefits is to enable you to increase your patient volume without the risk of exposure.

Online Scheduling for Medical and Physician Practices
Online Scheduling

Applying new technology to administrative tasks not only improves efficiency, but also reduces risk to patients and staff.

References
1. https://mgma.com/getattachment/9b8be0c2-0744-41bf-864f-04007d6adbd2/2004-G09621D-COVID-Financial-Impact-One-Pager-8-5x11-MW-2.pdf.aspx?lang=en-US&ext=.pdf
2. https://thehealthcareblog.com/blog/2020/03/31/immediate-changes-needed-for-physicians-to-stay-in-business-during-the-pandemic/
3. https://revcycleintelligence.com/news/physician-practice-revenue-cut-in-half-due-to-covid-19-crisis
4. https://www.pwc.com/us/en/library/covid-19/assets/pwc-us-health-covid-19-survey_chartpack.pdf
5. https://www.ehealthinsurance.com/resources/small-business/how-many-americans-get-health-insurance-from-their-employer
6. https://www.bls.gov/