3 ways hospitals must prepare for a likely recession

Bad economic times are coming, says Jeff Goldsmith, Ph.D.

The U.S. is in the 89th month of an economic recovery--among the longest since World War II--which means a recession is overdue and healthcare organizations should prepare now, writes Goldsmith, a national adviser to Navigant Healthcare, in Hospitals & Health Networks.

Healthcare systems can get ready for that inevitable economic downturn by taking the following steps:

Look for ways to do more with less. Healthcare organizations can expect to live with slow or shrinking revenues. Scrutinize physician compensation and productivity. Reduce layers of management and examine contracts for supplies and services.

Tighten up revenue cycle functions.  Improve your patient collections process. Make payment obligations clear to patients and ensure that billing staff keep better track of denied claims from insurance companies.

Fight for health policies that work for healthcare organizations. Lobby members of Congress, state legislators and governors to protect Medicaid funding. “Hospitals must insist that policymakers keep their commitments when times are tough,” Goldsmith says.