*This is part one of a three-part series focusing on strategies for increasing revenue in 2021. Part two is here.
Keep an eye out for part three, coming soon.
Even before the onset of COVID-19, U.S. healthcare systems were losing patients to convenience care choices like direct-to-consumer mobile apps and retailers. Now, nearly half of Americans report they have skipped or put off care over fears of virus exposure, creating a precipitous drop in outpatient and in-patient volumes. As a result, the AHA estimates a total loss to hospital systems of at least $323.1 billion in 2020.
Reclaiming patient volumes and driving top-line revenue has never been more critical to the survival of healthcare delivery systems across North America. To help combat these mounting losses, some healthcare systems have implemented telehealth tools as a lifeline for patients. In turn, consumers who have experienced all the advantages of virtual care delivery in recent months are continuing to demand telehealth options post-pandemic. And as a result, there is scarce patient loyalty in the convenience care market—not to mention, the competition for patients is fierce.
How do you kick your digital front door wide open, while staying competitive and building back up revenue? Choosing technology that makes access easy for everyone is one important factor to consider. Here are four keys to rebuilding patient volumes and increasing revenue in 2021.
Key #1: Understand patient connection is critical
Patients are clear: they wanted virtual care even before the pandemic hit. Then millions had little choice but to get their care via telehealth due to COVID-19. Now, they’ve joined the ranks of those who genuinely prefer this convenient, affordable, and fast way to receive high-quality care. According to McKinsey, telehealth utilization has stabilized at 38 times higher than before the pandemic. Virtual care is also the most effective way for healthcare systems to rebuild patient volumes, drive revenue streams, and control costs. Bright.md’s virtual care solution uses digital access points to help patients easily access care from you, collect critical patient information, and directly treat patients from the telehealth platform or triage them to the right level of care (video or in-person). Additionally, it enables your existing tech stack to work more productively for each patient encounter—asynchronously, in-person, or via video.
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Key #2: Eliminate barriers while saving money
According to a recent report, the number of Americans in specific income tiers who have home broadband or a smartphone has not significantly changed from 2019 to 2021. In turn, a large number of Americans face challenges around care access, making it important to provide solutions like Bright.md that don’t require broadband and offer alternative languages like Spanish. Giving new and existing patients with geographic or transportation challenges an easy, on-demand option to start their care with you creates revenue in the long run.
From a patient’s first digital touchpoint with Bright.md, you can asynchronously navigate, triage, and treat patients for hundreds of primary and urgent care conditions, and in doing so, systems can create a new level of affordability for patients. For instance, Bright.md customers charge between $0 and $49 per visit, compared to around $130 for a traditional appointment.
Key #3: Deliver quality care to retain patients
Once your patients are in the door, it’s necessary to deliver the kind of high-quality care and patient-friendly experience that will result in patient retention. Don’t let safety concerns, provider shortages, or physician burnout prevent your clinicians from treating patients at the top of their license. Bright.md enables systems to offer evidence-based, virtual care that is trusted by providers and can result in a higher-quality clinical experience.
With Bright.md’s asynchronous care platform, systems can treat patients for up to 500 low-acuity conditions within minutes with evidence-based, clinical content that is updated regularly with the latest guidelines. The platform’s additional functionalities, like Navigate, directs patients to the right level of care the first time—asynchronously and automatically—making non-emergency ER visits no longer necessary and helping to drive efficiencies across your system.
Lastly, the Bright.md platform increases the capacity of your existing clinical teams, empowering providers with digital tools that eliminate 90 percent of the administrative work—giving them more time to spend with patients who need care. We do this by automating chart notes, after-visit summaries, treatment plans, prescriptions and more in our asynchronous telehealth platform, along with clinical intake and pre-visit interviews. And as a result, providers can treat hundreds of low-acuity conditions in less than two minutes, from anywhere.
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Key #4: Differentiate your offerings to stay competitive
The COVID-19 crisis has made it clear: patients value convenience and ease-of-use over brand. Don’t lose your patients to direct-to-consumer apps and retail outlets, forfeiting your built-in opportunity to provide long-term and expert care as conditions change. Bright.md’s virtual care solution enhances your existing tech for near-term, top-line growth that’s sustainable for the long haul.
About 50 percent of patients have delayed care during COVID-19, creating a backlog and potentially more serious conditions that health systems are now dealing with. In turn, systems can respond to this opportunity with virtual care that attracts new patients and retains existing ones. Bright.md’s platform automates clinical workflows so that your providers can focus on practicing at the top of their license and spend more time with patients with more complex conditions.
Additionally, there’s no need for patients to make appointments, leave home, or find a private place with an internet for a video call. Bright.md’s platform follows CDC guideline updates, offers efficacy and integrity of data, consistently adheres to evidence-based best practices, and is AWS, HIPAA, and HITRUST compliant.
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