For months, health systems have been forced to shift most of their financial and human resources in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The cancellation of elective surgeries and procedures has led to the pause of profitable service lines which have created losses resulting in closing clinics and furloughing staff.
Now that we’re starting to think ahead, there are 4 underlying assumptions about what life after Covid-19 looks like. Let’s take a look.
Use Internal & External Data
It’s assumed that there are large number of deferred cases that need to get back on the books. There are several factors impacting how large the initial surge of cases there will be upon return – as well as what volumes an organization can expect thereafter. That is why now represents an opportunity to use internal, external and field data to understand the number and types of cases your providers have been holding on to, as well as the percentage of patients willing to venture back into healthcare settings.
Collaborate for Relaunch
As hospital and clinic doors reopen to elective business, organizational strengths and weaknesses will be exposed. Unresolved bottlenecks prior to the crises will turn into choke points as organizations try to accommodate post-crisis demand. That is why now represents an opportunity for teams to work together to remove organizational silos, pinpoint potential barriers to growth, and execute a plan for addressing any needs or gaps as part of their post-crisis relaunch and recovery plan.
Engage Liaison Teams
Organizations who get back in the game first and can provide their physician partners with the access and capacity needed to safely resume care will stand out among the field. As a result, we will likely see provider loyalty and network referral trends shift based on provider and patient experience. This is why now represents an opportunity to engage liaison teams in strategic conversations that can build confidence in your organization and its physician partners.
Leverage Relationships & Partnerships
With the onset of COVID-19, many independent physicians have seen drops in new patient volumes, consults and deferred procedures. Additionally, they be potentially bought into new technology like telemedicine platforms to remain in the game. Not every practice has experienced the type of financial instability that results in lost staff and reduced wages but, I can assure you, the decreases in revenue and increases in overhead have certainly exposed each practices’ vulnerabilities. This wake-up call makes it more likely that several merger and acquisition opportunities will likely present themselves in the weeks and months ahead. That is why now represents an opportunity for health systems and stable practices to leverage their liaison-provider relationships to understand which practices are poised for a more meaningful partnership.
In April, Tiller-Hewitt, an organization that works with healthcare organizations nationwide to develop and execute strategic growth programs, shared a checklist they designed to help clients evaluate if they are ready for the here and now. Is your organization able to say ‘yes’ to the below readiness items they identified?
- Have you quantified the potential influx of volume including cancellations, postponements & potential new business across hospital & clinic settings?
- Have you identified and prioritized the critical service lines and specialties for recovery efforts?
- Do you have access to pre-crisis internal & external referral data that allow for focused business recovery efforts of key referral sources?
- Have you done an operational assessment to determine if the influx of business into key service lines can be accommodated? For example, do you need any additional staffing, equipment, facilities, block-time, anesthesia resources, etc. to accommodate an initial surge in cases?
- Have you evaluated all potential access points to consider barriers to growth including scheduling, registration, call centers, pre-auth & clinics settings?
- Have you developed a short & long-term post-crisis telehealth strategy to improve access & increase capacity?
- Have you developed a relaunch & recovery marketing/communication plan for providers, their staff, community & patients?
- Have you partnered with your liaison/outreach team to complete a market analysis of potential acquisition or partnership opportunities?
- Do you have a strategically focused liaison/outreach team?
- Does your liaison/outreach team have the capacity & resources to execute a full market relaunch & recovery plan to rapidly communicate recovery efforts?
The future success of tomorrow’s healthcare organization will be determined by how well you develop and execute on your relaunch and recovery plan. The time to get ahead is now.
To learn more, feel free to reach out to me – or schedule a free, personalized demo of our product growth suite to see how you can get ahead now with Marketware.