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Healthcare leaders predict lower hospital revenues by end of 2020

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | May 22, 2020
Business Affairs

"Removal of regulatory barriers, more lucrative reimbursement models, increased start-up funding, and rapid shifts in access have all catalyzed telehealth adoption. Similarly, consumers will be more willing to engage in telehealth visits than previously, permanently altering physical appointment volumes," said Peck. "Furthermore, healthcare call centers have traditionally focused on metrics like dropped calls and call wait times. As the pandemic evolves, providers must implement contact center platforms and applications that go beyond simply answering the phone, to include speech recognition and customer information on pop-up screens."

Organizations should also consider investing in service line strategies, and according to 57% of respondents, improve revenue cycles, including enhancing accounts receivable and collections, to promote further growth.

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Among other questions on their mind are how will they respond to a second COVID-19 wave or surges, if one should take place, and how do they address dramatic shifts in payer mix, according to Peck, who believes the pandemic will teach executives much about their changing industry and how to adapt in ways that address these concerns.

"The pandemic has taught healthcare the importance of being nimbler to right size operations, and moving from a fixed to variable cost structure will be key to do so," he said. "Many back-office corporate functions have moved to a virtual environment as a result of the pandemic, leaving provider executives wondering whether they need as much real estate. According to our COVID survey, just one-in-five executives expect their organizations will return to the primarily onsite work arrangements they had before the pandemic. Not surprisingly, capital expenditures, including new and existing construction, is the top area respondents say they’ll target for intermediate and long-term cost reductions."

The survey was conducted between May 4 and May 8.

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