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Chip & Paulie Webinar 2 (March 27, 2020)

During a webinar discussing the impact of COVID-19 on pediatric practices, participants provided insights and actionable advice to navigate the financial, operational, and human resources challenges posed by the pandemic. Key topics covered included the importance of telemedicine adoption, applying for SBA loans, maintaining cash flow, and effective communication and leadership to support staff morale and ensure practice sustainability. Audience questions were addressed with a focus on practical solutions, and a call to action was made for the pediatric community to collaborate and share resources through forums and other platforms to overcome the crisis together.

Guests: Dr. Susan Sirota & Mary Ellen Harris

Download Slide Deck Here

Summary:

1. **Webinar Introduction**: The discussion involved Chip Hart, Dr. Susan Sirota, and Mary Ellen Harris focusing on the business impact of COVID-19 on pediatric practices and addressing follow-up items and questions from the previous webinar.

2. **Key Issues Identified**: The panel emphasized the need for practices to make decisions in an uncertain future and urged practices to focus on controllable aspects, like financial management and staff coordination.

3. **Financial Management**: Practices should perform a quick assessment of their financial situation, including cash in hand, upcoming payments, and potential credit options. A suggested cash flow calculator was provided.

4. **Telemedicine**: The panel highlighted the need for practices to adopt telemedicine immediately and discussed some of the challenges and strategies to implement it effectively.

5. **Data Analysis**: Chip Hart presented data showing significant declines in patient visits and revenue since the onset of the pandemic, with a notable increase in telehealth visits.

6. **Federal Response**: The panel mentioned expected congressional stimulus packages, including direct cash assistance to families, unemployment benefits, and financial support for businesses through SBA disaster loans.

7. **Human Resources**: Mary Ellen Heller Harris provided insights on managing staff during the pandemic, including the difference between furlough and layoffs, managing new hires, and maintaining staff morale.

8. **Governance and Decision Making**: Dr. Sirota emphasized the importance of clear governance structures and decision-making processes in practices to navigate the crisis effectively.

9. **Future Projections**: The panel discussed that practices should prepare for a surge in well-visit appointments once the pandemic peaks and begin scheduling these appointments proactively.

10. **Resources and Community Support**: The forum at PediatricSupport.com was suggested as a place for ongoing support and sharing reliable information. The importance of leadership, communication, and remaining flexible was underscored as essential for weathering the crisis.