The results of a survey of nearly 600 revenue cycle managers and healthcare provider chief financial officers asking them to assess the impact of COVID-19 on their operations paint a picture of opportunity for companies in the credit and collection industry, especially those that are already offering back-office and logistical support services to their clients.
When asked about the impact of COVID on their operations, the financial officers pointed to the unpredictability and erratic nature of work and claim volumes during the pandemic as the biggest hurdle they have had to overcome. That was followed by an increase in workload due to confusion over codes and requirements for COVID-19 related claims, being overstaffed due to decreases in claim volumes, decreases in staff productivity due to rapid and unplanned move to working remotely, and decreases in staff productivity due to lay-offs, furloughs and other staff reductions.
Managing productivity and staffing levels has been incredibly difficult for providers during the pandemic. Many providers have looked to their collection agency partners to help pick up some of that extra work, especially if the provider has been forced to furlough or lay off employees, leaving it shorthanded.
“COVID-19 has disrupted all facets of life and work, and health systems and hospitals have had to adjust quickly to new realities,” said Malinka Walaliyadde, co-founder and CEO of Alpha Health, which conducted the study through the Healthcare Financial Management Association. “As health systems continue to experience volatility in claims volume, they will need to take quick action to identify gaps in claims-handling capacity, and update operational and staffing practices accordingly.”