While Emergency Medicine providers selflessly continue caring for their patients, many emergency departments still endure the detrimental financial impact of COVID-19. In a 2020 study of emergency departments, researchers found that ED visits decreased drastically, up to 63.5% in some states.
Even though it is evident that ED patient volumes are slowly bouncing back, it is getting harder and harder to maintain profitability or even solvency of the independent ED groups.
If your revenues are not being handled efficiently, a considerable amount of the hard-earned revenue may slip through the cracks.
There are several ways an expert revenue cycle management service can help providers optimize their financial outcomes. First, let’s examine some of the reasons revenue could be lost.
Why Do We Lose Revenue in the ED?
The main reason for recent revenue loss in emergency departments is a decrease in patient visits. In a study at one major hospital, emergency department visits decreased by 30.4% in April of 2020 compared to April 2019.
Each hospital sector has seen a different effect from the pandemic – from an influx of intensive care patients to the complete ban on performing elective surgeries in many hospitals.
For the emergency departments, the primary trend has been the decline in visits. Fear of contracting the virus and measures implemented by the healthcare facilities to prevent its spread lead to several profound consequences:
- Patients not seeking emergency care, even for life-threatening conditions
- Patients avoiding healthcare facilities in general, but especially hospitals
- Widespread adoption of telemedicine
The decline in the ED visits has caused a significant loss of revenue, and consequently, heightened the need to re-focus on improving collections practices.
How to Increase ER Profitability
Focus on Excellence in Customer Service
Patient satisfaction is as crucial as collections when it comes to a successful ER. Many patients do have a choice as to which ED they visit, even in an emergency. If your reputation isn’t excellent, you may lose out on potential revenue. And while it is a given that excellent customer service is vital, recent studies consistently demonstrate that the hospitals with the highest profit margins are those with the highest patient satisfaction. Providing an exceptional patient experience can increase profitability by up to 50%!
Review Vendor Contracts to Reduce Costs
- Require that vendors perform self-audits to save time and costs
- Revisit payment schedules to improve both short-term and long-term cash flow
- Ensure that your legal counsel reviews all contracts to eliminate hidden costs
Reduce Unnecessary Testing in Your Emergency Department
In a study from choosingwisely.org, nearly half of doctors say patients request an unnecessary test at least once per week. Thirty percent say this actually happens several times a week. In another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Pathology, $6 billion per year in the US is spent on procedures and testing that aren’t medically necessary.
This practice increases healthcare costs in general, leading to inefficiencies in clinical care and reduced profitability.
Understand Your ED’s Data
Emergency medicine providers can gain valuable insights from analyzing key performance indicators to monitor the group’s financial health and identify improvement areas.
For example, you may find that your patients spend too much time in registration. Determining the cause of this slow-down can help streamline patient intake processes.
Related: How to Effectively Reduce Your ER’s Wait Times
Utilize a Dedicated Revenue Cycle Management Service
During the COVID-19 public health emergency, it has become much more difficult to collect revenue. Unemployment rates in the United States skyrocketed to nearly 16% in 2020, and while they have improved greatly, the numbers are still hovering around 6% in 2021, which is over 2% higher than pre-pandemic levels.
This translates to 9.7 million unemployed individuals, who may have become uninsured and don’t have the means to cover emergency medical expenses.
Utilizing DuvaSawko’s expert Revenue Cycle Management Services will ensure that your ED will remain stable and profitable, even in these otherwise uncertain times. DuvaSawko’s billing and coding solutions have been shown to increase ED revenues by up to 30% each year.
Founded and operated by ED physicians over 20 years ago, DuvaSawko is committed to increasing efficiencies, mitigating compliance risk, and helping you grow. We provide:
- Expert analysis of your ED’s performance with a dedicated account manager that helps assess the most meaningful KPIs, accelerating collections and ensuring accurate records
- Guidance in making business decisions that impact revenue
- Reports that are tailored to your ED’s specific needs
- A business growth partner to help you view your practice from every direction and become more profitable.
- A dedicated team to help you succeed.
- Faster and more accurate reimbursements
- An up-to-date, proprietary software for billing, coding, and data reporting. We quickly adapt to all regulatory updates and changes in the healthcare industry.
- The ability to free up doctors and nurses so that they don’t need to spend precious time on billing matters
A partnership with DuvaSawko will allow you to utilize your ED’s resources more effectively, will help you significantly increase economic efficiency, and, most importantly, will allow your providers to focus on what they do best – taking care of their patients.
Click here to schedule a complimentary practice analysis today.
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