Ensuring Continuity of Care & Recouping Revenue Post Pandemic

As the world focuses on solving the COVID-19 pandemic, patient care must still continue to the best extent it can. While virtual visits are a great solution to today’s needs and can still be valuable in many instances post-pandemic, there needs to be a plan to transition back to in-person appointments when the time is right — both to regain normalcy for patients and to begin recouping lost revenue for clinics.

How will you identify which patients are due (or in many cases, overdue) for visits or labs? What’s the possibility that patients may have slipped through the cracks over these last couple of months? Going individually through patient charts to look for care gaps certainly isn’t feasible or a good use of time.

A perfect opportunity to re-engage with patients is when they actively reach out for a refill on their prescription medications — something patients do regularly. Based on data from new healthfinch customers, up to 80% of incoming renewal requests were missing a required lab test and about 10% were missing office visits.

Inappropriate or incomplete monitoring of patients can be dangerous. Having processes that encourage rigorous monitoring increases safety and quality of care, but it can also be financially beneficial to health systems. The table below shows the potential additional lab revenue impact for a health system with 100 prescribing providers who receive an average of 10 renewals per day.

Number of Annual Renewal Requests 260,000
Percentage Missing a Lab Test 80%
Additional Lab Tests Generated 208,000
Additional Possible Annual Revenue (assuming $25 per lab) $5,200,000

Of course, this table illustrates a perfect world — one in which every patient completes every lab. Unfortunately, getting 100% of the required labs completed is often not realistic. Adjusting the numbers to assume just 20% of patients complete their lab work would equate to just over $1 million.

Identifying patients who may be due or past due for required monitoring is just one of many ways we can start returning to normalcy in healthcare. Though it will be particularly important post-COVID-19, the same approach can be applied now at health systems and clinics who took preventative measures, but never saw the surge in COVID-19 patients they had prepared for.

This is why many health systems have turned to healthfinch. Our prescription renewal delegation solution, Charlie, has the ability to quickly identify gaps in patient care by automatically cross-referencing each renewal request against evidence-based protocols that have been configured to an organization’s standards. As an added benefit, Charlie can review all active medications — not just the one being requested. This makes things easier on both patients and staff. Patients may be able to consolidate all labs into one visit rather than making several trips to the clinic, and staff can quickly complete subsequent renewals if all monitoring is already up to date.

Charlie saves staff and provider time while quickly identifying care gaps so patients stay safer and health systems can improve revenue.