As COVID-19 continues to shake the healthcare industry, providers across the continuum face new and significant challenges delivering care and ensuring success across their organizations. While hospital doors are flooded with incoming patients and are short staffed more than ever before, patients are reluctant to schedule in-office visits at physician offices, leaving them nearly empty. As physician groups struggle to fill routine appointments or follow-up visits with patients discharged from the hospital or ED, their practices are experiencing a steep decline in reimbursement revenue.
To help recapture these lost revenues, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and commercial health plans across the country waived certain telehealth requirements, thus expanding patients eligible to receive telehealth services, while reimbursing providers for these appointments at comparable office visit rates. Now, primary care practices can educate patients on opportunities to receive telehealth services and fill open in-person visits, boosting practice revenues while ensuring successful transitional care management (TCM).
The new waivers certainly help, but providers still face existing challenges monitoring care events and identifying opportunities to engage patients post-discharge. This is especially critical amidst COVID-19, as physicians play an instrumental role in ensuring patients with the virus receive the care that they need post-discharge, while those not contracted with the virus but still requiring medical attention, do so in the safety of their own homes.
So, how can practice groups overcome these challenges while increasing appointments scheduled and billed for?
Identify ED and Hospital Discharges with Real-time Patient Notifications
To increase visibility into patient events and those in need of follow-up appointments, providers can leverage real-time technology solutions that enhance care collaboration. With solutions such as PatientPing, providers across the continuum can receive real-time text and email notifications on patient events occurring anywhere across its existing national network, which includes over 1,000 hospitals, 4,000 post-acutes, physician organizations and more. With these notifications, provider organizations can quickly identify patients recently discharged from hospitals and EDs to proactively schedule telehealth or in-person follow-up appointments. Additionally, providers can identify patients discharged from in-patient settings that are eligible for transitional care management services. With these solutions, providers can increase telehealth and in-person appointments, TCM visits billed, and transition of care follow-ups.
Monitor Patients Eligible for Telehealth Services and Increase Visit Rates
With PatientPing, providers can also perform deeper assessments on their high and low-risk patients to ensure appropriate treatment plans are delivered. For low-risk patients now eligible to receive telehealth services, providers can make proactive outreach to educate them on the opportunity to receive telehealth services, and schedule appointments. This will keep a higher percentage of patients out of hospitals and in their own homes, ensure patients are still receiving proper care and support, and fill open in-office visits.
Support and Monitor COVID-19 Patients
With many patients diagnosed with COVID-19 turning to hospitals to receive care, it’s still crucial that PCPs and physician groups are aware of patients with the virus. Using a “COVID-19 Flag”, PatientPing automatically flags and notifies providers in real time on their COVID-19 patients’ care events. With the flag, providers can easily identify and monitor COVID-19 patients’ care events to quickly schedule follow-up appointments with this high-risk population, and ensure appropriate care delivery.
To learn more about how physician organizations and providers are using PatientPing, click here.