A Community in Action: Our response to COVID-19
By Kate Othus, MHA
As we continue to monitor the rapidly changing impacts of the COVID-19 situation, DataDx and DataDx Consulting recognize the incredible challenges and pressures being placed on each medical practice and organization during this global health crisis. We understand that medical practices everywhere are having to make critical business decisions in response to this rapidly changing environment we are in.
In support of the healthcare community that we love and value, DataDx and DataDx Consulting would like to offer a helping hand in times of need. We will be offering a FREE one-hour consultation to our healthcare partners in order to help you problem solve and trouble shoot some of your toughest challenges. This applies to current, past, and non-clients alike.
With decades of practice management consulting experience, we are confident that we can help you make an appropriate plan of action to mitigate financial risk, adjust staffing and scheduling, realign operational processes, and above all else, continue providing exceptional clinical care in our time of need. Our goal is to help you manage your business while you are managing the crisis.
Below, we have compiled a list of actions from various sources we feel are imperative to be mindful of operationally as you navigate this uncharted terrain.
- Ensure your organization has access to adequate cash reserves or access to appropriate lending to cover any unforeseen cash flow interruptions.
- Managing staffing and overhead will be essential during this time. Be sure to fully understand your responsibility as an employer with regard to labor laws, furloughs, tax implications and more. Congress is working to pass a bill related to expanding PTO coverage. This article from SHRM is a good recourse to review.
- As the risk of transmission increases, it may be time to consider new care delivery models such as telehealth. CMS has announced new reimbursement policies regarding telehealth, and CMS regulations regarding HIPAA have been relaxed at this time to reduce the barrier to this technology in our current state of crisis. You can read more about that by clicking here.Ensure you are up to date on the requirements with state agencies, liability carriers, and all payors.
- Consider adjusting your patient schedules to reschedule elective procedures and wellness visits to address the patients most in need. Create a triage plan for patients seeking acute care appointments. Review payor policies regarding phone triage, virtual check-ins and e-visits to manage excess volumes in reimbursable formats.
- If possible, allow all non-patient facing employees to work remotely. If you are creating virtual/remote workplace options, contact your IT vendor/partner to help set up remote workstations following security and privacy regulations.
- Keeping your employees informed during this crisis should be one of your top priorities as a leader. It is prudent to implement an effective communication plan to review your emergency protocols. Clarify their respective responsibilities and review communication plans/cadence. Ensure you are communicating often and keeping up to date on events as they rapidly unfold.
As new updates continue to emerge, and undoubtedly impact the way you operate, we will be here as a trusted resource to keep our medical community remain as strong as possible while we manage through uncharted waters together.
On behalf of everyone at DataDx, we wish you the best of health.
-Kate Othus, President & CEO