Outpatient Surgery Magazine - Subscribers

Back To Work - June 2020 - Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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different world, clinically and financially," says Keith Gruebele, president of BHG Patient Lending. "Facilities will have to do their part to provide patients with creative ways to get their surgeries done in ways that will fit into their new budgets." When creative financing options for patients are found, it's impor- tant to collect every penny of copays and deductibles, because they're the quickest and likely urgently needed payments your facility will receive. Mr. Gruebele estimates that reimbursements from insurance companies overtaxed from COVID-19 claims will take two to three times longer to arrive than before. The key to remaining fiscally sound in the short-term is to have at least three months, and preferably six, of operating expenses in a rainy-day fund. Mr. Gruebele estimates that most ASCs have less than one month in their reserves. Unless your physician-owners are willing to dip into their own pockets to create the reserve fund, you should be working to secure long-term financing now. "The truth is that the halt in income has been catastrophic for some centers," says Mr. Gruebele. "My fear is that facilities will get their Paycheck Protection Program Loan and some advances from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and be on a stimu- lus high that makes them think they're in a better financial strait than they really are. That money will be spent very quickly." Mr. Gruebele says restart costs could be almost as high as a facility's startup costs: Devices needs to be recertified; new meds have to replace expired ones; emergency and backup gear must be tested; and additional PPE must be purchased. "The industry needs to awaken to the reality that the post-COVID- 19 world will not be solely felt in the clinical setting," says Mr. Gruebele. "It will be felt primarily in the revenue cycle, in your abili- ty to bill and collect from patients, and in how you can manage your Business Advisor BA 2 0 • O U T P A T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • J U N E 2 0 2 0

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