Three Ways for Health Systems to Increase Profits During an Economic Downturn
The effect of the pandemic on health systems has been severe, as patients have delayed essential care and cancelled elective surgeries. In 2020, hospitals and health systems were projected to lose an estimated $323 billion, at minimum, according to a report from the American Hospital Association (AHA). These losses were attributed to a 20% reduction in inpatient services and a 35% reduction in outpatient services, the AHA says.
One option to recapture this lost revenue is to provide low acuity, outpatient services in the home, at the patient’s convenience through delivery. Luna provides on-demand outpatient, physical therapy, bringing treatment to patients via in-person delivery. Through one-on-one sessions with licensed physical therapists, patients can receive outstanding and safe outpatient care at home. According to Luna’s health system partners, on-demand physical therapy is appropriate for 87% of outpatient therapy cases. This means most patients can receive treatment at home, rather than visiting a clinic.
Providing on-demand outpatient physical therapy can help health systems increase profitability 3 ways in these uncertain times.
1. Reduce Rehab Referral Leakage
Health systems lose between $200M and $500M a year when patients seek follow-up services outside their system, according to a report from Innovaccer. Referral leakage is an issue for nearly all health systems, with 96% of healthcare executives seeing referral leakage as a priority in 2020, and 75% saying patient leakage is a significant obstacle to their financial goals, according to a Central Logic survey.
Most health systems have more patients than they can serve in their own rehab facilities and the wait for an outpatient therapy appointment can be several weeks. According to a survey from Merritt Hawkins, the average wait time for outpatient physical therapy is 24 days. Partnering with Luna to enable on-demand outpatient therapy allows patients to receive care within 48 hours. Through Luna’s broad network of therapists, a patient can schedule an appointment within 48 hours, 7 days per week.
Additionally, health systems may not have facilities in all the areas where their patients are located. Offering outpatient delivery at-home to those patients can have an immediate and powerful impact on keeping them in the system, and not leaving to go elsewhere.
2. Expand Geographic Coverage and Overall Patient Access
For physical therapy appointments, patients often do not return to the health system where they had surgery for rehabilitation. Instead, they seek outpatient therapy from a competing local brick-and-mortar alternative, choosing a location that is close to them instead of staying within the health system. With Luna, therapists visit patients at home, which can help a health system to expand the geographic area it covers, without the need to add outpatient clinics.
Home delivery of outpatient therapy allows greater patient access. With on-demand outpatient therapy 92% of patients commit to starting care. Patients are also more likely to stick with their treatments. With Luna, patients complete the full course of care, typically receiving 12 visits per episode, this is a 50% increase in completion of care compared to in-clinic care.
For health systems, rehabilitation services such as physical and occupational therapies offer a golden opportunity to improve the quality of patient care, patient satisfaction, and outcomes, while driving revenue, reducing costs, increasing the patient’s engagement with the system, and expanding the system’s market reach. Yet for most, it’s a lost opportunity; the majority of outpatient therapy referrals go elsewhere for care or don’t go anywhere at all. A way to capture these benefits wasn’t easy or apparent – until Luna created a turn-key approach to on-demand rehabilitation.