How new technologies are enabling hospital administrative teams to stay safe while meeting the needs of patients
By Srulik Dvorsky
During the COVID-19 pandemic, hospital employees are literally risking their lives to help people with the illness. Unlike in many industries, they don’t have the option of working from home.
The financial pressure on healthcare providers to offer services under these conditions is also causing massive fiscal stress and declining revenues. Increasing out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 patients and the recently uninsured are also a major threat to the financial stability of healthcare providers and patients alike.
Patients with existing medical conditions are asked to stay at home and their ability to get access to care and financial assistance services is severely restricted. At the same time, healthcare providers need remote solutions to let them focus on providing care. Insurance optimization is a path to success for both patients and healthcare providers alike. Providers will often have staff, called Financial Navigators, who help enroll patients in coverage and benefit programs.
A wise approach to both of these challenges is to find tools that remove the barriers of installing and financing a new IT system and can help healthcare providers immediately. While telehealth solutions have been adopted in the last few years in various areas of care, financial navigation is also ripe for a similar disruption. The call for this disruption is loud and urgent.
New technology platforms are making it possible for health care providers and their administrative and billing staff to do their jobs remotely, protecting themselves and their communities while also protecting patient data and performing their jobs efficiently and effectively.
Healthcare providers ask their financial navigators to help hundreds or thousands of patients at a time. To support this, there are web-based tools that automate time-consuming administrative and research work. The goal is to reduce financial burdens on patients facing extensive healthcare costs and help healthcare providers recover more revenue for the care they provide.
In a recent white paper published by Xcenda, the organization highlighted how the current crisis will impact patient support programs. Among the key drivers were the economic downturn and its short and long-term effects. In addition, there will be massive financial stress on individuals and families who will maintain insurance. Finally, the public health benefits of Medicare and Medicaid will be under unique and intense stresses.
To meet these challenges, Xcenda has identified that this moment will result in greater demand for patient services, patient assistance programs, and even free goods programs for the uninsured. Financial navigators, many working from home, will be on the frontlines of navigating this new terrain for their patients.
Financial needs are growing at an unprecedented rate. We stand with everyone in the healthcare provider community who will be working to meet this need from wherever they turn on their computer..
Srulik Dvorsky is the co-founder and CEO of TailorMed which recently launched a Remote Navigation tool for healthcare providers. After serving as the primary caretaker for several family members following a cancer diagnosis, he started TailorMed with a personal mission to leverage technology to remove barriers to care. He brings to the company more than a decade of experience in the medical device industry.