COVID-19 continues to represent a worldwide threat, despite the number of cases and deaths beginning to drop. With an economic restart now in full swing in many parts of the world, the question on everyone’s mind will undoubtedly be whether the virus makes a resurgence going into the fall. Needless to say, Coronavirus is still on everyone’s mind, and that means extra care and caution should be taken when running your medical practice.
Here are 5 top steps for maintaining the financial success of your medical practice while COVID-19 runs its course. By following these steps, you should be able to continue weathering the storm, right to the point of recovery.
#1) Managing Your Patients
Almost every medical practice has reported a steep drop in patient volume since COVID-19 became a pandemic, and in most cases that includes a 50% drop in cases. Patient volume is important in maintaining your practice, which means it’s time to re-evaluate how it operates. Not all medical practices work alike, but telehealth services have proven effective when it comes to dealing with patients, while surgeries require a different approach – direct communication with hospitals and surgery centers.
The important thing is to maintain communication between your practice and its patients, so that you can serve them quickly, and maintain your funding. Economic aid packages can also help during this time, and offset both costs and the drop in patient visitation rates.
#2) Managing Effective A/R
It may be difficult to justify full-time billing operations within your practice at this time, but the extra costs incurred might be worth it, if it’s going to mean more money coming in. Revenue starts and stops with accounts owing, which means identifying outstanding balances and taking appropriate measures to make sure you can bring in as much as possible. Not only will this inject much-needed cash into your practice, but it will also help tidy up outstanding cases, and pave the way for lighter books while moving into the recovery phase.
#3) Identify Express
It’s never been more important to identify outgoing expenses in your practice, and take steps to minimize them as much as humanly possible. Every dollar that goes out the door is one that can’t be used to maintain your practice. Fixed and variable expenses will need to be identified and tracked in order to balance out cash flow. Identify any payments that may be legally deferred until a later date, according to Canadian economic aid standards. At the same time, get rid of anything non-essential, from TV services in the waiting room, to the speed of your internet connection. And finally, think long and hard about the possibility of cutting back on staff to maintain your practice. Ideally, this should be for the short term. Communicate openly with your staff, and if necessary, help them get set up for Canada’s economic aid plan which will provide assistance until the economy is back up and running in full swing. Once it is, hire them back immediately, and get to work.
#4) Staff Training
If you’re not quite at the breaking point, now’s a good time to reinvest in your staff by updating their training during downtime. Not only does this maintain staff productivity, but it could yield some very beneficial results moving forward, once the danger has passed. When your practice is ready to get back to up to 100% full speed, you’ll have a smarter, savvier and even more competent workforce to get the job done. It might also be a good time to reassign roles, promote key personnel, or amalgamate workers into different branches of your practice so that they can pull double-duty to make up for the drop in patient visitations.
#5) Identify Your Workflow
This is a fantastic time to take a microscope to your workflow, and see if it can be tightened up. When your practice is packed and busy, it can be hard to step back and eagle-eye your operations, but with such a drop in visitations, now’s the time. If cash flow is no problem, consider bringing in a consultant to help nitpick every corner of your practice, and tighten the belt where required. This process of nipping and tucking can eliminate a lot of wasted time and materials, thereby vastly reducing your costs. If it’s good during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’ll be fantastic when things go back to normal.
By taking advantage of the few silver linings in this pandemic, you can maintain your practice’s wealth, while taking appropriate steps to further increase it once the danger has passed. Act now, and don’t wait for the crisis to be over! You may end up missing out on some prime opportunities to better the way your medical practice operates.
For more information on how to maintain your financial success during the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact us today. We’d be happy to advise.