Many of our friends and clients have been deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic with some volumes plummeting as low as 10% of normal values.  Just last week auntminnie.com published an article where the RSNA COVID-19 Task Force stated that the trend of exam volume decline “is likely to continue for months or even years.”

So how can we adapt?  Let’s explore some of the strategies being employed by other practices.

Cost Savings Within Your Analytics

Many people’s gut reactions when trying to save money is to “cut” costs by eliminating services.  While this is effective and can be a quick way to free up some funds, it can also decrease your productivity.  Instead, consider taking an afternoon to take a deep dive into you business and clinical analytics.  Such an investigation into your data can yield opportunities to get more out of the assets you currently have.

For example, you could use an analytics dashboard similar to medQ’s to project imaging volume and identify peak times to help inform you on how to schedule and staff just enough procedure rooms for the coming weeks.

Also, by using an analytics software you can identify bottleneck areas in your workflow that negatively affecting your Report TAT.  You then can redesign your workflow to possibly do more with less.

Flexible Scheduling of Rad Resources

Many practices invested in home-reading workstations for their radiologists.  What these practices found was that not only were they able to keep their staff safe, but they were also able to save money because radiologists at home could be scheduled more flexibly.

One practice used their new department of at-home radiologists to “take back ‘control’ of the 2 a.m. patient” and were able to cancel their night-reading service contract with a 3rd party.

Plus, if used in conjunction with the insights gained from your analytics dashboard, your at-home radiology team can help you avoid scheduling too much radiology coverage.

Managing Revenue Cycle and Cash Flow

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Do you know what your Medicare claim rejection rate is?  Do you know the reasons that these claims are being rejected?

It can be extremely time consuming for your staff to double and triple check claims before they are submitted, so you may choose to invest in a billing software that automates the claim verification process and partially fills in the claim prior to your submission.

A tech workflow module that is able to capture charges and supplies automatically and send them to billing will go a long way in simplifying the billing process. This, in turn, will help ensure that you are billing the full and correct amount.

Alternate Revenue Source – Teleradiology

With remote reading stations and flexible scheduling of your radiologists, you now might be in a position to offer reading services to other imaging sites outside of your own.

When seeking teleradiology contracts, remember not to overuse the traditional talking points (i.e. turnaround times) but instead focus on Value-based Care, Quality Assurance, Cost Savings, and the ability to integrate and communicate well.  Collaborative Imaging Magazine published an article giving some helpful steps that help practices win more teleradiology contracts.

A key step in providing quality assurance is having a stable, universally interoperable system backed by a strong IT team.  medQ’s Reading Services module has helped teleradiology practices read for hundreds of sites and is backed by highly-rated 24/7 support team. Its easy to use, quick to deploy and can integrate with any EMR, RIS, or HIS.

To see a demo of any of the solutions listed above, click here.