Regular Financial Checkup Key to Health During a Crisis
For healthcare providers and practitioners, chances are that “business as usual” is anything but that during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With the uncertainty of the situation and the restrictions we are facing as our economy slowly reopens, it is critical to know what steps you should take to ensure you follow the best path forward.
Assess your situation to figure out how to move ahead
Nobody knows your practice as well as you do. Sit down and honestly assess the impact COVID-19 has had on it. In some cases (we’re looking at you, Zoom and Uber Eats), stay-at-home guidelines might have actually been a good thing, resulting in increased awareness, and potentially revenue. However, like many other healthcare practices, you may have experienced the opposite and were forced to furlough employees, modify business plans or even temporarily shut down. Many medical professionals were no longer able to do elective procedures and had to shift more to telehealth conferences as well as postpone procedures and exams that were not COVID-19 related, causing a significant health issue to non-COVID-19 patients.
As you continue to work through procedures for your practice including telehealth and infection protective guidelines with face masks, personal hygiene, temperature checks and reception areas now in patients’ automobiles, you have found ways to improve your chances of survival. This is how you will have to function as a business while the COVID-19 pandemic exists.
Communicate with all stakeholders
Most people would agree that communication is important in the best of times. In the middle of a pandemic such as this, as a healthcare provider, it is even more important. In addition to applying for PPP funds for payroll expenses, your leadership in your office is important to protect your other healthcare providers and office staff with PPE and guidelines for them to communicate with your patients. So continue to make it a priority to proactively reach out to those professionals that work with your patients during these uncertain times to lessen the impact of your economic losses.
“Don’t put your head in the sand and hope that all of the bad things will go away. They won’t,” said Mike Steppenbacker, vice president of corporate banking at Ent. “This is the time where you have to step up to the plate and work with your advisory resources, specifically your banker if you have medical office building loans or practice lines of credit. Whenever possible, we work with our business members at Ent to come up with a plan that will work for everybody.”
The earlier you begin the process of communicating to those who might be able help, the more options you will typically have available to you. Wait too long, and the number of options could decrease greatly.
Pay attention to everything else that might help your financial situation
After you’ve shored up your immediate patient care and practice business concerns, turn your attention to anything you can think of that might make a difference to your financial situation, both personally and professionally. Ask yourself these key questions.
- If you typically have cash on hand, is it earning as much interest as it could be?
- Is your bank or credit union assessing fees that could be avoidable?
- How about various insurance policies? Are there less expensive options that you are not considering?
- Look at your personal loans and lines of credit (home mortgages and HELOC’s)
Sometimes all it takes is a call to your current provider to realize a discount on your services. If they won’t work with you, shop around and be willing to change if someone else will give you a better deal while still maintaining a service level that allows your practice and personal family finances to recover.
Though it may seem that a global health pandemic might lead to increased business for healthcare providers, that varies from one medical specialty to another and from one health system to another. By giving your finances the same, careful attention you provide to protect your staff and patients, you can give yourself the best opportunity to survive, and thrive, during these challenging times.
Founded in 1957, for the second consecutive year Ent is ranked Colorado’s #1 credit union by Forbes. A different kind of financial institution, Ent is committed to improving members’ financial quality of life with better rates, lower fees and Ent Extras Cash Rewards. With $6.8+ billion in assets, Ent serves more than 385,000 members at 39 convenient service centers all along the Front Range. Ent is an Equal Housing Opportunity and Equal Opportunity Lender, insured by the NCUA.
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