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The Top 5 Pandemic-Related Challenges Facing Primary Care Practices

May 12, 2021
Even before the pandemic, many primary care providers were struggling with unsustainable practice costs and burnout. COVID-19’s disruption of the healthcare delivery system, however, poses additional challenges to primary care.

According to a recent survey, facilities must adapt to shifting workflows, implementing new billing and coding practices, and building platforms for telehealth services—all while dealing with lower practice revenues. Coronis Health stays abreast of what is shaping health care. We understand the pandemic’s economic repercussions and are aware of the changes necessary to maintain primary care financing. We are a national healthcare revenue cycle management and medical billing company offering global capabilities and tailored solutions. 

 We know the pandemic pressures may be overwhelming. Still, we can help your facility strengthen its resilience by implementing the appropriate tools and strategies for staying afloat while you deliver the best patient care possible. By understanding the following challenges you are facing, you can equip your facility with the best practices for thriving amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

1. Medical Billing Code and Rules Changes

According to a survey conducted by the Primary Care Collaborative and the Larry A. Green Center, over half (52%) of surveyed clinicians report that their practice is often overwhelmed with constantly changing information, including medical billing codes. 

Healthcare providers should have a seamless accounting system, especially now that you face significant pressures to diagnose, treat, and provide follow-up care. Precise medical billing creates the potential for a positive cash flow, and to accomplish this you must use up-to-date medical codes and follow new regulations.

2. Patient Questions 

The spread of misinformation is a dangerous part of the pandemic. The seamless communication inherent in social media has been so efficient at spreading misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines. 

Over 60% of surveyed clinicians report spending “a significant amount of time” correcting misinformation about the pandemic with their patients. They say there has been an alarming increase in patient distrust of public leaders (58%) and patient doubt of primary care and their practice (15%). The volume of COVID-related questions can be overwhelming. While physicians feel that the correction of misinformation is a core part of their mission, fielding questions means more effort to develop rapport with patients, which takes time away from administrative responsibilities.

3. Expanded Telehealth 

Telehealth services have become an integral part of primary care as it has grown more prevalent among patients due to its safety and convenience. While transitioning to telemedicine has effectively kept patients healthy during the pandemic, the shift has created revenue challenges for facilities trying to stay financially stable during this difficult time. In addition to lower reimbursement rates, about a quarter of clinicians who participated in the survey reports their practice’s fee-for-service volume is still more than 30% lower than pre-pandemic levels. 

4. Less Revenue 

Most primary care facilities reported dramatically reduced revenue in the early stages of the global health crisis. Generally, these facilities did not have large financial reserves to sustain them during the pandemic. Monthly expenses are also running higher than usual (e.g., higher cost of PPE). Furthermore, the financial impact caused by the decrease in in-person visits has led to some independent practices to close (2%) or merge with larger organizations (5%).

5. Loss of Staff 

The financial woes of primary care facilities have led to cutting costs, reducing their salaries, imposing staff furloughs, and implementing pay cuts. A quarter of the survey respondents (25%) have permanently lost staff, and nearly 63% reported colleagues out to COVID-19 exposure, diagnosis, or quarantine.

How Our Medical Billing Service Can Help

Primary care physicians are enduring daunting challenges during the pandemic, but a combination of innovative external support and business intelligence may help them to keep serving patients.

We are a global innovator in the fields of medical billing services and revenue cycle management. We’ve brought together the best of the best in medical billing. We are also invested in staying up-to-date with the latest laws and regulations, awarding you peace of mind that your facility’s medical billing practices comply with new laws, regulations, and industry standards, including codes related to COVID-19 and its vaccines. Combined with industry-leading innovations and high-touch experience, we will allow you to focus on your patients, whether by combating misinformation or delivering high-quality care—all while maintaining your independence and financial security.

We always keep a pulse on industry changes, including the expansion of telehealth services. With 100 years of combined experience, we are here to help organizations adapt to the paradigm shift in healthcare policies and new technologies. Throughout the pandemic, Coronis Health has quickly become the designated expert for COVID testing billing. We’re trusted to handle tens of thousands of claims because of our experience and innovative mindset.

Coronis is invested in your financial success. Not only do we save you money by outsourcing all billing and coding, but we help you find lost revenue, close aged payments, and lower your time in AR. Our medical billing services focus on getting you the “last dollar.” We are at the forefront of using Artificial Intelligence and the latest software to revolutionize how we collect. These innovations lead to increased and groundbreaking efficiency and savings and prevent you from compromising your staff or the quality of your patient care.

Partner with Coronis Health

It is essential to form strategies to better cope with the disruptions and financial fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Coronis Health has all the resources necessary to handle your facility’s billing obligations and financial requirements, providing you with the freedom to focus exclusively on patient care. To learn more about our tailored solutions and forward-thinking strategies or to request your free financial checkup, contact Coronis Health today.

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