Midwives are great at being cost effective and creating budgets and protocols on what is best versus most expensive option. During pandemics, there are ever changing health care standards and buying equipment in short supply gets expensive quickly. Birth center and midwives all over the country are frantically trying to make their profit margins work with drastically increasing need for masks, protective equipment, hand sanitizers, and cleaning supplies to combat Covid-19 spread in their communities.
We need to weather this storm and work together. I know many midwifery practices are buying supplies in bulk to help weather the high prices. Keeping a close eye on expenses and cutting spending in other aspects of the budget are essential during trying times. Marketing campaigns are usually decreased when midwives and out of hospital births are being naturally sought after with hospitals being filled with Covid sick families.
It still amazes me how babies were delivered out of the hospital setting for thousands of years and it takes a pandemic for families to realize that hospital means, “sick house.” It is a place not meant for low, risk healthy mothers and babies. Midwives and birth centers are trying to keep up with the drastic demand shift and handle the additional load of patients safety with the ever-changing WHO and CDC recommendations. Midwives are survivors and do whatever they can to support healthy families and communities. As a profession, we have supported women through multiple pandemics and plaques and will continue to support for thousands of years to come!
Here are some additional suggestions from other health care systems on how to handle these financially trying times in our history. “For the long-term impact, there’s no question it falls into a couple of different categories. There will be a fundamental shift in how people do budgeting. Budgets are typically thrown out after a month or two anyway, so there’ll be a shift away from that. That’s as big a shift as you can possibly have – the traditional budget mindset is obsolete. It’s more of an approach where we’re trying to drive improvements month-to-month and quarter-to-quarter. We think that shift will be permanent.”
Another big shift will be in the area of telehealth. The most common usage for telehealth these days is for the common cough-and-cold maladies, but with the relaxation of telehealth reimbursement restrictions from the federal government, usage will likely extend beyond cough and cold – and many of those changes will be permanent.
Biggest thing to focus on is the adjust your policies, standards of care, and budgets for the business support long term. Keep a close on what you are spending and other areas of the business to cut funds short term until a “new normal” is in place.
- Having rolling budget forecasting, following coding guidelines and anticipating patient behavior changes will help with the coronavirus aftermath.