The past two years have been marked by sweeping changes and incredible pressures. While this harsh new reality is hardly unique to the medical field, healthcare professionals have witnessed the changes up close and in the most unique ways. Costs are rising as the bottom simultaneously falls out of many hospitals’ revenue cycles, opening a significant monetary gap. Decision makers at every stage are clamoring to find room in their budgets to compensate for shortfalls and tightening belts. For many, this crisis has prompted a shift towards Global Coding solutions.
Revenue Cycle in The Age of COVID
Of all the revenue crunches COVID has created in the healthcare sector, perhaps the most dramatic is the sheer loss of revenue. Bills for high-dollar inpatient procedures alone can account for around half of a hospital’s incoming payments1. When the pandemic hit and forced changes like the cancelation of elective surgeries, many hospitals saw these needed revenue sources evaporate almost completely with rates decreasing by approximately 99%. Virtually overnight, many hospitals lost half of their incomes. Total industry loss estimates for this year alone are projected to range between $53-$122 billion2.
To compensate for critically low revenues, managers and directors have had little choice but to trim budgets and even personnel simply to keep their organizational ships afloat. However, substantially reduced income has not been the only aggravating factor. New and exacerbated costs are raising the ceiling of the financial gap. One of the most timely and dramatic examples is the price increase of personal protective equipment (PPE), with the cost of some masks alone rising by figures in the range of 1000%3. Despite furloughs and layoffs, the cost of staffing increased by 14.4% between 2019 and 2020, and expenses are predicted to continue rising this year4. Some sources predict that the increase in incremental annual costs to the American health system may reach between $125-$200 billion5.
Coding Services: A Vital Link in The Chain
Further exacerbating the already perfect storm is the substantial demand for coders, an inextricable link in the revenue cycle chain, with intense competition for their services6. The pandemic reframed healthcare by hastening the shift to telehealth and remote work. While this eventual shift may always have been in the cards, it happened far more abruptly than anyone anticipated. Coders can work from anywhere, and, therefore, for anyone they choose. In this new world, everyone is a competitor for coding talent6.
Outsourcing: Domestic Vs Global Coding Solutions
These aggregating factors are forcing many hospitals and healthcare providers to find creative ways to adapt. Many have begun reassessing standard practices and status quo solutions, finding them no longer optimal or up to the challenges they are presented with. Even before the pandemic, many health industry organizations relied on outsourcing their coding services, finding it inefficient and too costly to run in-house. While some companies elect to outsource their coding domestically, many still find that the price is still too high to impact their revenue gaps as significantly as they need. Domestic outsourcing can be almost twice as expensive as a Globally sourced alternative7.
In a similar manner to the shift towards telehealth, the revenue gaps created by COVID are reframing the outsourcing discussion in a more Global perspective. With this alternative in hand, many healthcare organizations are taking sizable steps towards closing their financial gaps and creating breathing room in organizational budgets.
Global Coding Services: A Secret Weapon for The Pandemic and Beyond
In the era of COVID, much of the healthcare system is overburdened, underfunded, and very often understaffed. In response to these pressures, many in the health sector are reassessing Global Coding services as a key contributing solution to close the financial gap COVID has put them in.
Global Coding has, over recent years, had an undue reputation as a lower quality, discount solution, but that perception is at odds with the facts. The solution lies in choosing the right partner.
Standing in stark contrast to this impression, ECLAT Health Solutions guarantees 95% coding accuracy (the industry standard) and most often maintains quality to an even higher standard of accuracy confirmed by third-party audits. Further, every ECLAT coder, regardless of their geographic location, is held to the same stringent certification standards required by the industry as every domestic coder. By shifting to global outsourcing, healthcare providers are able to maintain quality with a more competitively priced solution. This allows them to meet financial challenges head-on and take a large, substantial step towards bridging the profit and loss (P&L) margin they are facing.
While for many, this change is a purely financial move, they discover that the benefits of global coding are not limited to the balance sheet.
An outsourced workforce means having an extended team to take pressure off of overtaxed and burnt-out staff. Partnering with a global organization has even more unique advantages: teams based outside of the United States operate on different schedules. Your extended team can save you money while you sleep. Your global workforce can guarantee both holiday coverage and weekend coverage as they are not limited to the traditional domestic working calendar.
ECLAT Health Solutions: Your Global Partner for Medical Coding and More
ECLAT Health Solutions is your global partner for medical coding, medical billing, auditing, and CDI services. We operate symbiotically, lowering your costs while taking pressure off of your team and working towards optimal reimbursement. Our team has the expertise to meet any need, including ICD-10 codes, CPT-4/HCPCS, MS-DRG, and more. Every ECLAT coder is AHIMA and/or AAPC certified. Quality, security, and compliance are our highest priorities.
Our global medical coding services provide 24-hour turnaround time and code while you sleep to give your facility the accurate coding it needs quickly. Leverage the advantages of our global team and request holiday and weekend coverage at no additional cost. Our unique 3-Tier Quality Assurance Process identifies and fixes any coding and/or compliance errors to ensure our coding is accurate every time.
Learn more about ECLAT and find the revenue recovery solution that has been a game-changer for many of your peers during these trying times. For a more in-depth breakdown of the tangible steps, you can take to build a resilient RCM for the pandemic world, click here to read our guide. To take the first step towards bridging the profit and loss (P&L) margin with Global Coding services:
1Healthcare Revenue Cycle Recovery After the COVID-19 Pandemic | RevCycle Intelligence
2Hospitals could lose between $53B and $122B this year due to pandemic | Fierce Healthcare
3A Year Into the Pandemic, the PPE Shortage Becomes a Disconnect| Spectrum News NY1
4Pressure Rising: COVID-19's ongoing impacts on healthcare labor trends| Healthcare Finance Management Association
5Why COVID-19 Is Driving Up The Cost Of Healthcare In Retirement And What You Can Do Now To Prepare | Forbes
6Revenue cycle directors deal with a competitive market for staff as elective care returns | Healthcare Finance News
7Is Outsourced Medical Coding the Right Choice for Your Practice? | eVisit