Preparing for the ‘New Normal’ with Managed Healthcare Services

nurse wearing a surgical mask with gray background

More than in other industries or walks of life, 2020 has been a transformative year in healthcare. Before it was halfway over, the year brought the world its most severe pandemic in a century, as well as the modern era’s biggest disruption to care delivery. Most states halted nonessential surgeries and elective procedures in March. Three months later, few had fully reopened.

Amid all this crisis and uncertainty, how can leaders possibly plan for the months and years ahead? Ernst & Young LLP Transaction Advisory Services Principal H. Mallory Caldwell recently offered his thoughts on what the “new normal” is likely to look like, and how organizations can prepare for it.

“The long-term ‘new normal’ for workforce modeling and management will require substantial changes to the operating model and brick-and-mortar reliance,” he writes.

“Understanding health systems have allocated significant time and resources for the potential surge of new COVID-19 patients, they now must tackle the challenge of maintaining ongoing service and delivery expectations at a time when reinforcements are in short supply.”

Caldwell explores the most-common preparations being taken to meet these challenges on a long-term basis, as well as related complications like the need to be ready for a second surge and a higher proportion of CMS billings. While he points to efforts to boost staff morale and the greater use of telehealth, we might add another effective method: The use of managed healthcare services.

4 Ways Managed Healthcare Services Can Help You Face the ‘New Normal’

1. By covering all your personnel bases. The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc with healthcare employment, forcing widespread layoffs in some areas just as other regions experience shortages. With their fluid network of thousands of healthcare professionals across the nation, managed healthcare services can help organizations ensure that they’re always got the workers they need to maintain care.

That means the best local clinicians and nurses, as well as those who are willing to travel from other states. You’ll have access to pharmacists, technicians, administrators, HR and IT professionals, and many others, with a huge pool of experience in practice settings ranging from health centers to correctional facilities. You also get a streamlined system for candidate sourcing, interviewing, hiring and onboarding.

2. By streamlining your digital strategy. As of early June, some experts predicted that industry revenue would ultimately decline by 70% due to lesser ambulatory volumes, the mandatory postponement of elective surgeries and the “expectation that the payer mix will tilt towards less-profitable Medicaid patients due to the shocking increase in unemployment and loss of employer-sponsored insurance.”

The use of digital care technologies has sharply accelerated to correct for these losses, and to provide a means to continue to provide effective patient coverage in a time of quarantine and social distancing. A managed services partner can help you integrate these tools on an organization-wide basis, offering the personnel needed to implement and maintain the tech as well as clinicians who are adept in its use.

3. By shoring up your security and compliance efforts. Partnering with a managed healthcare service provider means getting access to built-in security functionality that can be integrated throughout your organization. All the processes used for hiring and onboarding are up to date with the latest security protocols to keep your patient data safe, and your own systems safe from attack.

Because their business depends on their success at keeping data safe, managed service providers are experts on tech security, and can advise you on other aspects of cybersecurity, as well. They also possess a thorough understanding of what it takes to achieve compliance with the many regulations underlying healthcare delivery, from HIPAA and HITRUST to CMS Compliance, and much more.

4. By getting you closer to value-based care. With its focus on maximizing efficiency, the healthcare managed services model can be an important tool to helping your organization achieve the increasingly essential (and sometimes elusive) goal of value-based care.

Value-based care isn’t just another buzzword. It represents a clearly defined set of guidelines, goals and incentives laid forth by the CMS as the terms for reimbursement for a growing list of healthcare services. And with the growing utilization of digital health services, the application of these value-based incentives to certain Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement changes on an annual basis. With its access to high-quality labor and ability to help drive patient satisfaction, managed healthcare services can be critical in making the shift to value-based care. And that could be key to success in the post-COVID-19 world, as Managed Healthcare Executive’s Keith Loria recently posited, as more and providers are experiencing “what happens when the spigot of fee-for-service revenue gets turned off.”

Ready to Get Started?

As difficult as this year has been, it may be possible to wring advantages from the challenges we’re facing. For some, it may hold the opportunity to start with a clean slate, and build in the new efficiencies needed to come out ahead in the hears to come. And with its many built-in advantages, managed healthcare services offer the ideal way to do just that.

With decades of collective experience in healthcare workforce solutions and a nationwide network of top-level professionals, CareerStaff offers the managed healthcare services you need to ensure success today and in the years to come.

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