How Does Telehealth Impact a Hospitals’ Revenue Cycle?
Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, telemedicine had become increasingly popular for patients and providers.
The rising occurrences of chronic conditions, as well as increased demand for self-care and remote monitoring, have been significant drivers for telehealth growth. That growth continued as employers, hospitals and payers realized both cost-savings and new revenue streams for telehealth services.
Now that we’re knee-deep in the pandemic, telehealth has become the new normal for hospitals, clinics, and doctors. So what’s the potential impact for today’s – and tomorrow’s – telemedicine revenue model? Here are some revenue cycle solutions and insights to understand:
- Over 75% of Americans Are Open to Using Telemedicine
According to McKinsey & Company, 76% of Americans are likely or highly likely to use telehealth moving forward and 74% say they’re highly satisfied with telehealth. Americans’ new interest in telehealth is a bright spot amid providers’ financial struggles, as it gives them a way to care for patients while minimizing their exposure to contagion. At the same time, telemedicine helps hospitals and providers regain lost revenue from the pandemic, increase patient volume and expand services so they can recover financially.
- Increase Hospital Revenue by Expanding Telehealth Offerings
COVID-19 has changed telemedicine’s role in healthcare. Hospitals and other providers should leverage this as a strategic advantage by expanding their telehealth offerings, marketing these services, and maximizing reimbursement. Before it can be a strategic advantage, however, telehealth must be optimized with technology integration and best practice processes to create a seamless workflow. For providers who don’t have this knowledge in-house or internal resources aren’t available to help, engage a partner with proven expertise.
- Maximize Reimbursements
Knowing the latest payer requirements is critical to avoiding denials and maximizing reimbursement. For example, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded its list of payable telehealth services to include more than 80 additional codes during the pandemic. It continues to relax reimbursement requirements to enable greater use of telehealth, most recently allowing physical therapists and other providers to be reimbursed through Medicare and expanding coverage for phone-based services. Commercial payer billing rules also continue to change in response to the pandemic.
Hospitals and other providers should have internal staff or a trusted partner who can continually monitor requirements related to billable telehealth services, documentation, and coding updates. This resource should have experience interpreting CMS and payer rules and extensive knowledge about health plan coverage, state laws, and state and federal coverage requirements. They should understand how to maximize reimbursement revenue by leveraging all billable personnel and services.
- Reduce Costly Patient No-Shows
While no-shows will never be eliminated entirely, telemedicine enables providers to dramatically reduce their losses by offering patients greater flexibility – and higher revenue for their organizations. Many hospitals and practices have tried to reduce no-shows through automated text and phone call reminders. But that only solves the issue of forgetfulness. Much more effective are options for online scheduling and virtual visits. By bringing care to wherever patients are, providers can reduce their no-show percentage rate and boost their revenue.
Is your hospital, healthcare clinic or practice in need of optimizing revenue during and after the COVID-19 pandemic? Find out how a partnership with AMN Healthcare RCS can provide the cost-effective workforce management solutions you need to ensure a healthy bottom line.