When my colleague Stephen introduced this week’s Campfire Session, he did it by saying: “This is a very tough moment for America. So many are waking up to the truth that there is a lot NOT working right now for too many people and that’s gone on for far too long.” 

That’s why we added the subtitle: “What’s Working” to this Campfire Session. The purpose of this session was to share ideas and strategies that ARE working, because if we don’t engage patients and inspire them to return to taking care of their health needs soon, we’ll be staring the next health care crisis tidal wave in the face. 

Watch our Campfire Session on Getting Patients Back to Care: What’s Working. Or read below for key takeaways from our webinar event!

Our 6/5/20 Campfire was hosted by Mike, Stephen and Ann who jumped right into the topic at hand with:

  • Jillian Lampert, CSO of The Emily Program 
  • Jim Berarducci, senior advisor to leading health care providers

The discussion included:

  • Pivoting from COVID response to revenue recovery.
  • What’s keeping health care executives up at night?
  • The strategies/playbook to actively identify patients and nurture them on their journey back to health care.

This summary starts with statistics that illustrate why our work has never been more important.

  • 70% of Americans are concerned about contracting COVID-19 from health care facilities. 
  • Almost 50% of Americans have skipped or delayed health care because of COVID-19. 
  • ER visits in April alone were down 42%.
  • It’s estimated that over 40,000 women have undiagnosed breast cancer because they were delayed in getting screenings. 
  • There is a decline of 2.5 million childhood vaccinations due to COVID-19. 
  • There is a 38% reduction in cath lab procedures here in America. 
  • When we look at reports coming out of Italy, which was earlier on the COVID-19 curve, they’re reporting a 58% increase in cardiac arrests due to people not going to the hospital to address chest pain and other heart issues. 

Consumer-centric strategies pre-COVID and post-COVID

The ability to understand where patients are on their health care journey was discussed—as well as the challenge of overcoming the barriers to care that were present before COVID and are now amplified during the COVID era.

Telehealth moving forward

The rapid onboarding of telehealth to keep clients in care was shared, as was: 

  • The possible use of virtual care into the future—including advocating for continued reimbursement after this public health emergency is over.
  • Maximizing patient acquisition and recruitment messaging online, where people are now going for treatment.
  • The long-term forecast for telehealth and the advantage of building in-house capabilities.
  • The telehealth patient experience and how it can be used creatively.

Revenue recovery mode

An in-depth discussion about how health care facilities and systems can move from COVID-prep to recovery—and then to thinking about reopening, included: 

  • Responding quickly with furloughs (how to maximize staff to effectively serve clients).
  • Changing your command center meetings from a focus on responding to the demands of COVID patients to that of patient recovery and acquisition.
  • Forecasting and re-forecasting revenue due to the temporary shutdown in services and elective procedures.
  • Being good fiscal stewards, while at the same time investing in areas that will help capture and address patient demand.

The new mindset: Active patient acquisition, engagement and advocacy

  • Moving from a passive marketing strategy to an active strategy including reporting and an expectation of revenue recovery was illustrated.
  • The importance of implementing a strategy, testing it and switching mid-stream to maximize results was discussed.  

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Plan to pivot: anticipate change and adjust marketing efforts based on ever-changing dynamics.
  • Marketing and operations work hand in hand: to adjust how we care for patients (like telehealth) and communicate these changes seamlessly.
  • Identify new opportunities to grow: brands that may have once been competitors may be open to mergers and acquisitions.
  • Maintain marketing presence: people are searching for care; ensure your brand is present and top-of-mind.