How can we stay financially sound during and after a pandemic?
The novel coronavirus pandemic has caused a whirlwind of disruption in our healthcare and financial industries. Healthcare leaders across the continuum hold the keys to success.
Daily team meetings regarding updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and your local public health department are crucial in following all infection control practices to slow the spread of the disease and protect your residents and staff. Fewer infections equal lower costs of supplies such as oxygen, nebulizers and medications, IV fluids, ventilators and personal protective equipment, and staff costs.
Educating staff and monitoring PPE donning, doffing, usage, re-usage and cleaning is critical to help decrease the spread of the virus to residents, as well as protecting your own staff and preservation of PPE. Following guidelines on PPE usage to keep costs at the lowest possible level is critical. Using the N95 respirators, surgical masks and cloth masks and re-using masks based on all the guidance will help control costs.
Use of the Medicare waivers is prudent to maintain the facility’s financial solvency. Please be aware that while initially CMS said there was no documentation required, subsequently it recommended documentation to “support proper payments were made.”
Seeing how aggressive and fast the virus can spread can be heartbreaking. Keeping staff working at just one facility instead of between numerous locations will help decrease the spread of the virus per CMS guidance.
Keeping your staff educated and protected and working to decrease the risk of spreading the virus will allow your institution to stay financially sound during and after this epidemic.