The business of health: Keeping the lights on through the pandemic and beyond

Fitness & Health:

For some hospitals and health systems, especially those in rural areas, keeping the lights on by having stable financial performance has long been a challenge. And now COVID-19 is causing even strong positive margins to slip into the red.

The government, through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, has eased some of the burden by allowing providers flexibility in the use of telehealth during the public health emergency. Some of these temporary measures may become permanent, though the big question of whether payment parity will remain has yet to be answered.

In the meantime, through the pandemic and payment cuts, hospitals have done what they needed to stay in the business of serving patients. This month, Healthcare Finance News, Healthcare IT News and MobiHealthNews will talk with healthcare leaders about what they’re doing to not only survive, but thrive, under the new normal.


Medicare reimbursement rates for orthopedic trauma have fallen sharply

Change will be necessary to ensure the financial health and success of physicians and hospitals caring for orthopedic trauma patients.

AMA and others ask CMS not to finalize proposed ACO quality changes

Groups say CMS should get more feedback as proposals change the way ACO quality is assessed, reported and scored.

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HFMA task force releases best practices for resolving patient medical bills

The task force recommends providers engage in conversations about bills long before the post-discharge account resolution process.

Hospitals ask appeals court for a rehearing on 340B decision

At stake is $1.6 billion in payments per year to thousands of 340B hospitals that serve vulnerable populations, the AHA said.

House bill extends repayment of hospital loans for accelerated and advance relief funds

Democratic leaders question what they call CMS’ unauthorized use of billions from the Medicare Trust Funds.

Behavioral health providers embracing telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic

Woman consults a medical professional using telehealth.

In addition to the patient care benefits, integration of virtual technology in mental healthcare can boost cost savings and efficiency.

Hospital and health system financial leaders want automation tools for revenue cycle management

Administrator compares paper and screen reports

When organizations automate their revenue cycle, they can improve their bottom line while freeing up resources to spend on value-enhancing tasks.

Telehealth is expected to drive $29 billion in healthcare services in 2020

Doctor conducts telehealth consultation

Patients are largely on board with this paradigm shift, significantly increasing their engagement with the remote care platform.

Remote workforces and virtual infrastructures may be healthcare’s future, especially for payers

Home office worker with child

COVID-19 has made working from home more attractive, and healthcare could use this trend to its financial advantage.

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Hospitals’ financial recovery will be tied to the health of the economy, before and after COVID-19

Medical supplies with graph of downturn

While healthcare has historically been resilient during economic downturns, the nature of this cycle introduces new challenges.

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