Volume 8 - May 6, 2020
Get ready to start up again...an Adept℠ launch:
As various states start to consider relaxing stay-at-home orders, & hospitals & ASC’s start to open for elective admissions, consider what has changed. Think about how applying the ADEPT AdvantageSMmodel of the five value functions within a medical organization might aid in creating a road map for ramping up your practice & business. If you have not been meetings with your leadership team consistently, get them together via video or teleconference platform & have a conversation about the following topics. HINT: Before you start, acknowledge the current state for the practice, & what expectations you have going forward. It helps to set the stage for everyone to be on the same page. The five value functions are listed below with some suggested conversation topics. (This is not a complete list, but it will give you a place to begin)
Telemedicine has impacted your practice. Even if your practice has not been using telemedicine, many patients are experiencing it in other practices, & it is being widely accepted. Be prepared for that expectation.
- Identify the applications & processes that will continue to be impacted by any changes in practice style.
- Consider workflow & staff interaction that may need to be adjusted before going back to capacity scheduling.
- Determine the telehealth visit to in office visit ratio in the practice going forward.
- Scheduling face to face appointments, with consideration for distancing and cleaning, will change the template of the practice.
- Identify processes for messages, email inquiries, & staff communication changed as a result of the limitations in recent weeks.
Hopefully, you have a list of all of the patient visits that have been cancelled and/or rescheduled.
- If you have not, take advantage of your scheduling systems ability to identify patients that need appointments.
- As much as possible, reschedule non-urgent, maintenance appointments now for 45-60 days out from the expected launch date.
The more you can provide a sense of safety & security for your team & patients the easier it will be for everyone to move forward.
- First impressions after such a change in patient interaction with the practice are important.
- Open the office with confidence, demonstrate your commitment to patient safety by having visible PPE, hand sanitizer, wipes, etc. If you are continuing to struggle with access to PPE, work on that now, so that you have an adequate supply before you are ready to open.
- Surgical practices need to consider what pre-op procedures & timelines need to change in consideration of patient’s exposure or possible carrying of the COVID-19 virus.
- Only schedule a portion of the template in the beginning. Particularly if you have experienced a workflow or staff change(furloughs & layoffs-see Talent) in the interim.
- Contact all referral sources to fully understand the community around you for possible impact on your practice, particularly if you determine an early opening is in your best interest.
Take this time to examine changes in your workflow that have recently changed by necessity & determine what may continue in the practice, & what may have to revert to old processes. Some regulatory requirements have been suspended as a part of the COVID-19 crisis & are not permanent. Pay attention to notifications received from federal & state payers. Look at this challenge as an opportunity to let go of processes or policies that may be outdated, unnecessary or do not provide value to the patient or practice. You likely have tried some new approached in recent weeks.
- Patients will be looking to you to lead environmental safety. Cleaning & isolation process will need to be fully integrated into the daily routine, with some impact reflected in the scheduling.
- Consider having a training session for your team regarding specific activities or times of day that cleaning actions are required & at what level.
- Make sure that your janitorial service is aware of the heighten needs & that you have the proper procedural documentation that those cleaning procedures are being followed.
If you have not taken or were not able to access any of the emergency funding resources, take time to figure out what it will take to get your financial equilibrium back. Consider what financial accommodations your practice can tolerate . Be realistic in your expectations.
- Payers have changes policies, codes, & authorizations in many ways, be sure this is well documented for staff.
- Eligibility will be an issue for some time until your patient base is back to work in some capacity. You may need to redirect specific staff members to supporting more frequent patient eligibility verification.
You know your team is your most valuable asset. As mentioned in Distinction, they are the face of the practice. You have all been in this emergency state together. Invest in them by giving them the opportunity to be part of the solution. If you had to furlough or layoff team members, this is a great time to look at each person's roles & responsibilities & make sure you have the “right person, in the right position, doing the right work”. Did telecommuting provide the same level of performance? Staff have been telecommuting in many cases and family needs have changed. Does it make sense for some positions to continue to telecommute. What policies do you need to have in place?
Attitude is contagious. We have all been challenged emotionally by the past few months. We have suffered loss, experienced grief, confusion, and fear. It is good to acknowledge feelings & give people the space to express those feelings. As much as possible, work to provide an environment that creates a sense of security & enthusiasm for the future.
Being ADEPTSM is an opportunity to once again demonstrate a tenacity of spirit. It will take many months for a new normal to be defined. Most of the country has experienced inordinate amounts off unexpected stress in the past 60 days. Be aware of how that may play out in behaviors (yours & others). This is the best time to acknowledge that it is unlikely you will be able to recover what has been lost, but you can rebuild over time. We are here to help. Give us a call, we are happy to listen.
Disclaimer: V2V Management Solutions is a healthcare consulting firm. We are not licensed attorney’s or certified public accountants. This guide is not intended to replace legal or financial advice from your trusted resources. Before acting on any information provided check with the appropriate legal or financial team. This situation is a constantly evolving landscape be sure to research for most current information.The following content consists of key takeaways on information published in the above referenced articles, facts sheets, and our personal/professional experiences in financial management throughout a crisis.
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