According to a recent report, U.S. hospitals are losing millions of dollars per day amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare institutions and practices are confronted with major shifts beyond clinical challenges, resulting in tremendous financial implications.
It is critical that healthcare providers attempting to reopen are doing so in a prudent and safe manner that not only protects their employees and patients but also their financial bottom line. On top of mind for many in healthcare is “How do we reduce costs to survive during this pandemic and what can we do to survive the next downturn?’ This is a question that rings true to all businesses and not just for the healthcare industry.
How do you keep your business and practice afloat during this pandemic? Keeping your practices open and in business can be a daunting challenge. But no matter how bleak and uncertain the future may seem, there are creative ways of effectively managing resources. Cutting operational costs is one way to help you stay in business amid this crisis.
Here are 5 tips to help your practice reduce costs.
1. Save on medical waste disposal costs.
You knew this would be on the list, didn’t you? The truth is, medical waste disposal is a recurring expense that many practices don’t realize can sometimes be reduced by thousands of dollars per year. Most healthcare providers have been with the same medical waste disposal company for years and experienced incremental rate increases without much thought. A waste audit can help ensure you are not overspending on your medical waste management.
2. Improve your supply chain management.
Inefficient supply chain management can result in wasted supplies which can drive up costs. Review processes and work with your staff to reduce wastage, including ensuring that non-infectious material is not ending up in biohazard bins. We know practices are being overly cautious given COVID-19, but if there is no reason to suspect that the material came in contact with an infected patient it might belong in another type of waste receptacle. We also encourage practices to consider automation with your inventory system, so that your critical supplies are only ordered when you need them and not too soon.
3. Delay or cancel upcoming expansion plans.
It’s not what everyone wants to hear, especially after you’ve spent years planning for that new office to serve more of the community. However, it may simply be better to put off plans of increasing capacity with the future so uncertain. If expansion plans are in the pipeline, it would be best to reconsider delaying it. Resources can then be allocated in other areas.
4. Engaging office staff in the cost-saving conversation.
We’re all in this together, so communicate your efforts to all your employees so everyone is on the same page. This helps you build trust while working to reduce costs so you can keep your greatest assets – your employees.
5. Take advantage of modern technology.
Streamline processes within your practice and expedite care for patients. Continue to stay in touch with patients outside your physical office through remote telehealth solutions.
No matter how bleak the future may seem, some ways can help you and your healthcare practice move forward. Remember, the decisions that you make today will help determine where your business will be in the future.
If medical waste disposal is a line item expense you haven’t thought about, reach out to our team to see how we might be able to help.