25 Aug Resuscitating Rural Hospitals
Viable Solutions for Small Hospitals
The scarcity of resources has created a gap in care.
Rural communities experience unique circumstances when it comes to healthcare. It’s not unusual to find one hospital providing care for several small towns. Depending on the location, some residents may have to travel many miles before receiving care.
Additionally, changes to healthcare have presented challenges to accessing care. For rural residents, higher insurance premiums have deterred some from purchasing insurance, choosing to remain uninsured. While most are confused by the new process of applying for assistance and unaware of public programs their hospital offers.
Likewise, rural hospitals want to deliver quality care, but because they are small in size, operate with a limited workforce, and receive a high number of uninsured patients; many are questioning their financial viability.
Approximately 51 million Americans live in rural areas and depend upon the hospitals in their community.1
Rural hospitals are eager to explore new ways to improve patient care and reduce costs. While expanded healthcare coverage in Medicare and Medicaid will help reduce uncompensated care, rural hospitals can increase financial stability by investing in revenue cycling management and helping patients enroll in available programs onsite.
Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) Ensures Financial Stability
Revenue cycling management can help rural hospitals successfully track claims and manage revenue leaks so hospital staff can focus on delivering quality care. Outsourcing enables doctors to treat patients and leave the paperwork to the people who know the intricacies of healthcare.
78% of hospitals under 200 beds that were new to outsourcing RCM also reported average revenue increases of 6.2% in 2014.2
At HCFS, our revenue recovery system checks state and federal programs as well as commercial carriers, driving revenue optimization and bringing transparency from cost-to-charge. Additionally, HCFS has software specifically designed by our experts to ensure accuracy in assessing patient eligibility, determining third-party payers and forecasting revenue.
Healthcare Eligibility Services Support Rural Patients
Patients struggle to make sense of new healthcare regulations. Working with patients and explaining their financial responsibility will reduce confusion and alleviate apprehension. Furthermore, a trained patient account representative who is expert in navigating the Marketplace and knowledgeable in healthcare insurance can help patients with enrolling on site, thereby leaving doctors to treat patients.
Working with the rural hospitals, HCFS can help uninsured patients who may not know if they qualify for benefits, apply for Medicaid and other Federal and State programs to help cover medical expenses.
HCFS Patient account representatives (PARs) are Certified Enrollment Counselors (CEC)/Certified Application Counselors (CAC). When patients arrive, PARs gather all of their insurance information to determine whether they are self-pay, uninsured, or need Marketplace assistance and will even initiate the patient’s Marketplace application on their behalf.
HCFS Bridging The Gap in Care
The challenges facing rural hospitals are immediate. We’re looking toward the future of small towns and recognize this is not just about filling a vacant position for a short period of time; it’s about continuous support.
Our technology, combined with a one-on-one patient approach, and personal relationships with the various state and county offices ensures success on each patient account.
Contact us today to learn how our revenue cycle management and patient eligibility services can ensure your financial viability.
1. American Hospital Association, April 2015 http://www.aha.org/about/membership/constituency/smallrural/ruralbills.shtml
2. Globe Newswire https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2014/11/19/684574/10109005/en/Financially-Overwhelmed-Hospitals-Ditching-Fragmented-Niche-RCM-Solutions-for-Comprehensive-end-to-end-Outsourcing-Service-Vendors-says-Latest-Black-Book-Poll.html