2022 has been one of the most challenging years for hospital and health system finances since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and quite possibly in our lifetime.
Not since “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor was a top three Billboard song have we had inflation at such levels. The pressures have come from so many angles that healthcare RCM and finance executives find themselves in a challenge to survive. The transition from a pre to post covid reality has impacted so many things simultaneously that it feels a bit like ‘whack a mole’ – yes, it rhymes with rock n’ roll.
The Covid hangover may need more than aspirin to quell its headache. Patient behavior continues to shift as patients seek new ways to receive care and continue to delay service lines from fear of transmission or the cost associated with care.
Further complicating the situation, inflation has soared to near 40-year highs; labor costs leading the charts soaring much higher than core inflation. Nursing wages have outpaced wage growth across most sectors of the economy to a point many leaders believe is unsustainable. Right-sizing labor costs and consternating over new care delivery models have been war room discussions with many of our partners.
In a recent survey conducted by the Healthcare Academy CFOs, increasing outpatient capacity, business intelligence, and automation are all listed as top priorities as we move into 2023. Yes, going from vinyl with a quick jump to streaming is quite the leap. But hold on… What about the quality of the tune?
Healthcare leaders acknowledge they are falling prey to the rapidly changing climate and need the right partners to help get things rolling in the right direction.
Health systems will continue to feel the lasting economic pressures moving into 2023 and beyond. The strain of workforce shortages, supply chain disruption, and the inability to meet the needs of patients will shatter hospitals and health systems across the country if they do not innovate and adapt. Are we on the dark side of the moon, free falling, or will we rise up to the challenge of our rival and face the eye of the tiger? It depends on the leader. Who are you?
Chris Stenglein, is an innovator in healthcare payments, engagement, and finance. Developing patented new technologies to drive both provider and patient financial success, Mr. Stenglein has advised many of our nation’s top healthcare systems and ambulatory providers to improve the patient payment experience, increase loyalty and satisfaction and optimize financial results.
Chris is currently CEO of CURAE, patient financing. CURAE is a healthcare-specific patient finance platform that provides patients with payment options for their out-of-pocket healthcare expenses.
Follow or connect with Mr. Stenglein on LinkedIn here