Medical group and health system executives believe it will take at least a full year to recover from the revenue losses due to COVID-19, according to a survey conducted by the American Medical Group Association (AMGA).

The survey of 95 executives concluded that 41% of healthcare systems and 36% of medical groups believe their revenues will not return to pre-pandemic levels until Quarter 2 of 2021 at the earliest. However, many respondents are still unsure when their revenues will return to normal.

Although Congress has made available over $175 billion to healthcare providers through the CARES Act and HEROES Act, the AMGA survey shows need for more funding to help providers offer care to patients.

“Health systems and medical groups are operating under a cloud of financial uncertainty that threatens their ability to continue to deliver the best care to their communities,” said AMGA President and CEO Jerry Penso, M.D., M.B.A. “We continue to urge Congress to provide additional funding to stabilize the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis.”

AMGA attributes the loss of revenue to the elimination of elective surgeries and procedures. Future revenue loss is expected due to the potential surge in COVID-19 cases, uncertainty in telehealth reimbursement, and insurance coverage lapses due to the rise in unemployment.

In a study conducted by the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) and Guidehouse, 43% of hospital and health system respondents expect their revenue to be between 15.1% and 30% lower than their pre-pandemic revenue levels. Thus, reduction of cost of operation using automation is the need of the hour.

Chuck Peck, MD, a former health system CEO says the “use of robotic process automation has proven to be successful in improving back-office operations in other industries. Providers will need to follow suit.”

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