Pivoting is an important part of being in business and succeeding through a global pandemic such as we are experiencing with COVID-19. It has been a remarkable experience to watch the healthcare vertical make such a rapid transition during this time. The federal government has loosened restrictions on telehealth allowing hospital systems to make changes in a few short weeks whereas during normal bureaucratic times it would take at least two years and likely more to make such a fundamental pivot to telehealth.

All Across the Healthcare Industry, We've Pivoted, Adjusted, and Persevered

We have pivoted our check in processes where we now have our patients calling into the office from the parking lot to check in, or we've set up a limited number of socially distanced spaces within our waiting rooms to be mindful of providing care without having an environment in our clinics that causes harm.

We have pivoted administrative work roles to work from home work roles. Clinics are remotely checking people in with cameras at the front desk with the check in role being executed from a home office. Billing roles have pivoted to work from home roles. Businesses that support our clinical environments like billing, IT, collections and finance have pivoted to a nearly all virtual workforce.

We witnessed a second exceptionally quick pivot from the federal government on the economic relief side when a very partisan House and Senate came together to create a stimulus to stave off mass small business closures, at least for the short run, with the Payment Protection Program that allows for rent, payroll (W2 and 1099 workers), and utilities to be paid for with loan forgiveness for an eight week cycle.  Further, the CARES Act provides direct relief to clinics on the front lines with additional payments (NOT LOANS) to healthcare providers and billing organizations who received Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) reimbursements in 2019.

What is as uncertain now as it was a month ago is what the next 30 days will look like and what additional changes we may expect in our clinical environments. Even a return to ‘normal’ won’t be normal, as we will still have to take precautions for months, if not years, to come. What we learn form this and how we adapt may well define the next decade of healthcare in the United States.