How can we reduce Virtual care delivery costs & OPEX?
Virtual care is in more demand now. Patients prefer virtual care more in this fluctuating pandemic situation and uncertain economic environment.
What is the goal?
Optimizing the virtual care delivery models is the only effective way for healthcare organizations to reduce financial risks and stay ahead of the competition. One of the ways is reducing operational expenses and it should be chosen very carefully so that it does not affect the safety of the patients.
This leads to two important questions- “How can healthcare organizations neutralize OPEX while managing to produce high-end clinical services for patients?” and “Should they think of minimizing or scaling back their services? Unfortunately, neither of them is good.
There are many strategies to keep you on track and scale effectively. We will see in this article, the key costs in telehealth delivery, the hidden expenses that come with scaling, address the economic exchange for different cost-saving approaches, and the solution for your care delivery model that provides you an economic advantage.
Operating expenses (OPEX) in Telehealth delivery
What are the Primary costs of Telehealth delivery?
E-commerce or business and digital health are way different from each other with physical resources and inventories. Because of that, the operating expenses too will differ for the healthcare spectrum. The following is an outline of the primary costs involved in virtual care delivery.
- Clinician management and staffing overhead
- HQ employee salaries
- Administrative costs
- Platform and technology expenses
- Medical operations
- Legal and regulatory expenses
- Patient acquisition costs
- Marketing expenses
Among the above costs and expenses, Clinician staffing costs the largest portion for healthcare organizations providing virtual care. That includes the following;
- Regulatory costs
- Clinical workforce costs
- Medical operations costs
What are the Hidden expenses of Telehealth delivery?
There are some straightforward and indirect costs involved in telehealth care delivery. Some of the hidden costs are as follows;
- Clinical recruitment: When clinicians leave for better opportunities, healthcare companies may face operational and recruitment challenges to replace some specific licenses required for patient handling.
- Precision staffing: Scheduling or allocating clinical staff for telehealth services at a large geographic scale can lead to this expense. The operating hours across time zones, patient demands, the need for state-by-state contractor employment laws, etc. can add to this expense.
- Clinician support services: Along with the increase in internal clinicians, the internal resources needed to support them will also increase. These support services include onboarding, training, licensing and credentialing, technical, clinical guidance, clinician management support, etc.
- Quality assurance management: With the growing workforce and services, managing the quality assurance program by healthcare organizations can become an overload.
The old and successful options for reducing Telehealth service costs
Healthcare companies have traditionally used some methods to cut down telehealth service costs. They include;
- Cutting internal staffing and resources too thin. Not suitable for healthcare services as a clinician or patient support services can be affected.
- Cutting the highly expensive services or services with lesser ROI, etc. This can suddenly stop some services that are vital for patient experience.
- Stopping geographical expansion, holding up new service launches and marketing campaigns. Opens up space for competitors to attract loyal customers and patient demand.
- Adjusting product roadmap. Hold technological advancements thus affects consumer expectations.
These cuts can result in a loss of revenue, and opportunities, and opens the space for competitors to overtake your ground.
How Healthcare organizations can reduce OPEX for Virtual care?
Let’s put all these things behind us. Fortunately, there is a way for companies that provide virtual care delivery to stay financially strong, maintain the quality of care, and competitive advantage.
This requires companies to convert from a pay-per-clinician model of staffing to pay-per-consult.
Pay-Per-Clinician Vs Pay-Per-Consult model
- The pay-Per-Clinician model needs a fixed cost. In this case, the clinician will be paid for their time during business hours regardless they see a patient or not.
- The pay-Per-Consult model allows paying the variable cost. Clinicians like consultants are involved in this. You only need to pay them if they are demanded by patients.
If you are not already a clinical network that had 50-state clinical settings, it's not possible to attain variable-cost staffing without using help from an outsider network. Partnering with outside companies for carrying out clinical tasks can convert fixed expenses to variables in no time.
Telehealth software from Vozo
Vozo telehealth let you create a more fluid and integrated experience and workflow for your clinic. Our telehealth solution is the smart choice for delivering care remotely. You can schedule and conduct virtual visits directly from your EHR without any extra software.
Our HIPAA-compliant, easy-to-use video visits are designed for primary care physicians and specialists to let you provide immediate patients care. Easy patient engagement through chat and secure messages. This increases patient onboarding and increases the retention rate. It helps to increase your revenue and manage your claims with advanced billing. With the seamless integration of telehealth to the Vozo EHR, you can schedule and conduct visits directly from your EHR platform and it will confine within your budget pocket!
“Make your patients enjoy the best virtual visits from the comforts of their privacy”