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The Lasting Effects of the Pandemic on Provider Compensation

The Coronavirus Pandemic sent a shock wave through the healthcare industry in many ways. Not only were care facilities overwhelmed and drowning in work, but it also put patient care providers on a pedestal. There is no doubt that healthcare workers were our superheroes throughout the last few years. However, while the industry assumed the new role of preventing and treating the Coronavirus, other standard procedures and appointments were put on hold.

            The pandemic put a strain on patients’ access to care as well as providers’ ability to provide it. With lockdowns and ever-changing regulations on elective procedures and more, navigating the industry over the last few years has been difficult. Despite the ongoing financial challenges presented by the pandemic, providers persevered thanks to the help of government backing.

            Now, a year after the peak of the pandemic, we are seeing the industry return to normal, including an increase in provider compensation as the volume of services rises once again. An interesting counterpoint to increasing compensation is a decrease in compensation per work unit (wRVU). This is both the result of the industry’s recovery following the pandemic, as well as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services wRVU changes implemented in 2021.

            As we continue to make headway in our recovery from the devastation of the last few years, it will be interesting to monitor the lasting changes that came as a result of the pandemic. With changing regulations and trends surrounding provider compensation, it will be important for facilities to stay abreast of and understand how these changes can impact their bottom line.

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