5 methods medical practices can restore affected person go to volumes amid a pandemic: report

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It is no secret medical practices have taken a critical hit as affected person volumes plummeted within the early days of the pandemic.

And whereas many have turned to digital visits, that in itself will not be sufficient to prop up declining income or meet all of the wants sufferers have, in accordance with a brand new report from the Medical Group Administration Affiliation (MGMA.) A June 2020 survey discovered greater than half of sufferers (57%) report having a medical situation requiring rapid consideration.

In a brand new report out this week, MGMA launched key greatest practices for practices to comply with to assist restore affected person volumes and stabilize monetary footing based mostly on 2019 information from greater than 1,500 organizations.

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“One of many keys to restoring affected person go to volumes and avoiding deferred care is guaranteeing that these sufferers really feel secure when returning to their medical follow workplace,” stated Halee Fischer-Wright, MD, president and CEO of MGMA. “Medical practices must win sufferers’ belief and this benchmarking information will permit medical practices to make needed changes that can permit them to stay aggressive on this ever-evolving trade.”

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A few of these practices embrace: 

  1. Shifting hours of operation: Confronted with potential bottlenecks of delayed care, practices might have to think about expanded hours on weekdays and weekends, the report stated. These hours can also permit practices to stagger supplier and workers into shifts to restrict the variety of individuals within the clinic at anyone time to raised permit for social distancing. 
     
  2. Lowering affected person wait occasions: Whereas the report reveals the newest information from suppliers signifies wait occasions trending upward in recent times, that needed to change dramatically within the context of a pandemic.  “Whereas entrance desk check-ins stays the dominant technique of dealing with in-person visits, many MGMA members report shifting to new, digital check-in choices in response to the pandemic,” the report stated. Many practices might want to shift manner from their conventional philosophy on scheduling to enhance the stream of individuals by way of the follow house, it stated. 
     
  3. Leveraging affected person portals: Whereas the report notes the highest three makes use of of a affected person portal are for prescription refills, communication with suppliers and medical workers and accessing check outcomes, they’ve taken on a stage of significance amid the pandemic in lowering required in-person interactions.
     
  4. Appointment availability and timeliness: The report suggests practices take into account measuring the delay sufferers expertise in accessing suppliers by way of third-next-available appointment and using a affected person waitlist to fill next-available appointments.
  5. Contemplate charging a no-show payment: Previous to COVID-19, fewer than one in 5 single-specialty practices charged a no-show payment. Nonetheless, given the upheavel in scheduling and sufferers’ considerations with security and private funds, practices might wish to rethink whether or not to cost a no-show payment, the report suggests.

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