The client is one of the largest public healthcare systems in the U.S., known for providing essential care services to over one million people in New York City. The client’s healthcare system has earned numerous awards including honors for quality, recognition by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare, and awards for standards of care for diverse populations. High quality and affordable healthcare services are part of their mission to help patients live their healthiest lives and they are well known for caring for their community by providing low to no-cost health insurance to eligible people in the area.
The client reached out to MPLT Healthcare as it became clear that the coronavirus pandemic was picking up speed in New York City. At the time, New York was seeing around five thousand new coronavirus cases per day and hospitalizations were increasing drastically. They would need at least 30 Critical Care physicians to help with COVID-19 patients in 10 different facilities throughout the city for the foreseeable future. The need was urgent, as they would need these providers to start within just 10 days. Many of the client’s providers had contracted the virus, becoming ill or needing to be quarantined. Their remaining providers were working around the clock and suffering from exhaustion. With numerous travel bans in place and many providers not wanting to go to the NYC epicenter for fear of bringing the virus back to their own communities, we had our work cut out for us.
Our Rapid Response Team addressed the client’s urgent needs through several key strategies to ensure that they would have quality COVID-19 coverage as quickly as possible:
- We guaranteed that we could present at least 30 qualified physicians to them within 48 hours of receiving their phone call.
- Our team worked around the clock, presenting a total of 75 physicians to the client for consideration. We submitted 45 of the available physicians to the client within the first 48 hours, exceeding our original guarantee for candidates.
- Our team worked strategically to target physicians who were either in the area or near enough to drive in to help. We prioritized those who had the most availability in order to give our client flexibility in coverage as the census ebbed and surged.
- In order to accommodate the urgent timing of the request, we adopted an abbreviated credentialing application for our internal process, allowing the doctors to return the paperwork quickly. This included sending the physicians a special link for their documents, narrowing the turnaround time to under 24 hours.
- We credentialed a total of 55 physicians to work at this client’s facilities to ensure that there would be more than enough staff available should the city experience additional surges in COVID-19 cases or should more of the client’s existing providers become infected.
- We immediately deployed 16 physicians to fill the most urgent COVID-19 coverage needs throughout all ten of the facilities. We continued to send providers over a five month period to support the client during this critical time of need.
- The licensing laws were temporarily changed due to the state of emergency in New York, allowing physicians to work on any current state medical license, so we were able to pull candidates quickly from around the country. Knowing that the licensing changes were temporary, we immediately applied for New York medical licenses for theses physicians to ensure that they would be able to continue to provide coverage should the state of emergency expire.
- We knew that our client would need timely reimbursement from FEMA in order to be able to keep so many physicians working in the city. We proactively reached out to the client’s Chief Operating Officer and their Accounts Payable Department to review the FEMA guidelines at length and then made extensive revisions to our billing processes in order to support the documentation needed by the client for swift reimbursement.
- Early in the pandemic, many hotels shut down, while others were offering free hotel rooms for the physicians who were coming in town to help. Some airlines were also offering free flights for providers. Our Travel Department worked diligently to coordinate and organize available resources in order to minimize costs for the client and make sure these essential healthcare workers would have proper accommodations during the shelter in place order.
- Staffing needs were decentralized, with two main points of contact at each of the 10 facilities. Our team coordinated with the 20 different contacts to ensure optimal coverage and help anticipate when and where they might have a surge in cases so we could deploy our physicians accordingly.
The MPLT Way
Throughout our partnership with this client, the team at MPLT Healthcare went above and beyond to ensure that each facility within the system would have the coverage that they needed. We understood the urgency of the situation and were ready to partner with our client and assist on the front lines of the pandemic during an unprecedented public health emergency.
The qualified physicians that MPLT sent to New York City were well received and made a positive impact on the community. These providers completely understood the gravity of the situation and they had the experience needed to arrive on site and immediately hit the ground running. Some of the physicians have since stayed on at the facilities to continue serving the community.
It was a great victory for our team to be able to not only meet, but exceed, the client’s request for Critical Care coverage during a time when doctors were in such short supply throughout much of the country. Because the client now had enough staff to manage their caseload, their facilities were able to open additional ICU floors, allowing them to accommodate even more of the community’s sickest residents.