COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on the world, and the healthcare industry has been forced to adapt. One day the global pandemic will be over, but that doesn’t mean everything will return to the way it was.
The lasting effects of COVID-19 will continue to impact how the medical field operates. Building a medical practice post-COVID will look different than it did pre-COVID. Here are a few areas you should evaluate as you begin to build your practice that will help ensure optimal patient care.
Redefine Patient Treatment Options
COVID-19 has made telehealth more popular than ever. As clinics and other facilities have become overcrowded, patients have been apprehensive to leave their homes, even when suffering from sickness.
To accommodate these patients, promote social distancing, and lower risk, many healthcare professionals have turned to telehealth as a viable means of consulting with and treating patients.
Many insurance companies have taken note of this increase and have adapted their plans accordingly, making it possible for individuals to seek and obtain affordable healthcare.
Many patients prefer this ease of access as it cuts out transportation, potential exposure, and long waiting times. It’s likely that it will be a common practice, even when COVID is no longer a concern.
Those looking to build up their medical practices will be forced to adopt telehealth as a common means of treating patients.
A Change In Patient Volume And Demographics
The pandemic has brought with it an overwhelming patient volume. This has led to a backlog of many elective procedures. After COVID, there will likely be fierce competition for potential patients.
Furthermore, healthcare professionals should also be aware that the demographic of patients will likely change as well. Many patients have lost jobs during the last year and therefore have lost their insurance coverage.
As COVID fades away it is likely that healthcare professionals will see a drastic increase in self-pay or underinsured patients. This means that it will be crucial for healthcare facilities to provide quick and accurate billing to help maximize cash revenue.
Analyze Cash Flow And Potential Mergers
While merging practices is typically not the first option for clinicians, post-COVID it may be a necessary decision for many healthcare facilities. Due to the virus, many clinics may not have the cash flow or risk tolerance to continue to operate on their own. In this case, the best option may be to merge or sell your practice.
Over the past few years, private equity firms have become key players in the healthcare industry. Due to COVID-19, it is likely they will continue to purchase practices in the years to come.
Healthcare professionals looking to merge their practices should determine where operational pitfalls may exist by completing a practice assessment. This can be done internally or externally through a consulting firm.
It is impossible to know for sure how COVID will continue to impact the medical field. However, one thing is certain, it will likely never return to the way it was pre-COVID. This makes it incredibly important for healthcare professionals to begin preparing for what may come by evaluating their practices and analyzing how they can build their medical practice post-COVID.