As industries around the world have encountered a disruption in the supply chain, shortages, and delays across healthcare are being experienced.
For healthcare, the supply chain begins at the medical supplies and product manufacturer. As a whole, they have been overwhelmed since the beginning of the pandemic due to the influx of medical supply demand. Additionally, shortages of materials and shipping delays also affected the overall production of materials. Then, as they sent them out to distribution centers, the shipping delays once again affect the medical supplies getting to the providers. These issues can be separated into 3 key categories.
Demand then shortages. Some hospitals or medical centers may be able to purchase inventory directly through the manufacturer or distributor or they have a purchasing contract in place, which could help them get their supplies earlier. However, in some cases, they’re also competing against those outside of the healthcare industry as companies have been buying more personal protection products such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and cleaning products to distribute to their businesses. That influx of orders once again puts a strain on the manufacturers, and some medical providers have been left wanting for essential supplies.
Shipping. All shipping companies have been suffering from delays. As materials move around the world, transportation has been disrupted due to many different issues such as the Suez Canal blockage, more complex regulations for safety reasons, and countries closing their borders due to COVID-19 concerns. Then, when the transporters get to the US, they are met with shipping companies dealing with high demand of consumer and business needs during a worker shortage. Overall, it has caused shipping to slow down considerably.
Costs. As products and materials are delayed or in high demand, the cost of them will rise. In a pandemic, medical products are in high demand by all even if they are prioritized for healthcare providers. Due to this, a medical office’s budget for cleaning and personal protective equipment most likely increased in 2020 because they needed more of it and the costs might have also increased in general.
Medical offices should already have a system in place to take inventory and monitor it to alert the right person when supplies are low. They should also do their best to balance budgets even if these unprecedented times. If your medical office has been struggling to steady their revenue cycle, contact Outsource Receivables Inc. for expert help. We would be proud to partner with your specialty clinic and help improve your overall bottom line.