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"The following information is designed to clarify the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS') long-standing policy concerning the disallowance of bad debts related to deductible and coinsurance on services paid on a fee schedule on the Medicare cost report. This CMS policy is discussed in the December 1, 2006 Federal Register, beginning on page 69712.More on Medicare Bad Debt Audits...
Bad debts are unrecovered costs attributable to uncollectible deductible and coinsurance amounts. CMS has clarified that bad debts are not recoverable with respect to services paid under the Medicare fee schedules because the payment is not based on incurred costs. Allowable bad debt for cost reporting purposes only applies to services paid under reasonable cost (or developed from reasonable cost, such as a prospective payment system [PPS]). Refer to Section 1861 (v)(1)(a) of the Social Security Act, as implemented in the regulations at 42 C.F.R. Section 413.89.
Section 4541 of the Balance Budget Act (BBA) of 1997 requires that outpatient rehabilitation services furnished on or after January 1, 1999, by hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and other providers, be paid the lesser of either the charge or a fee schedule payment (as determined under the Medicare physician fee schedule). Critical access hospitals (CAHs) and community mental health clinics (CMHCs) are exempt and continue to be reimbursed on a reasonable cost basis. Bad debts for uncollected deductible and coinsurance amounts relating to outpatient services that are reimbursed under a fee screen payment are not allowable for Medicare cost reporting purposes.
When preparing bad debt lists, providers will be able to differentiate between deductibles and coinsurance relative to outpatient services paid on the fee screen and other non-fee schedule services as reflected in the Fiscal Intermediary Standard System (FISS). Information on how this can be done follows this article. Payments made by beneficiaries toward their deductible and coinsurance should be prorated to both fee screen and non-fee screen deductible and coinsurance amounts. Further, National Government Services expects that in the future, providers will not be claiming bad debts related to services paid on the fee screen as reimbursable bad debts. If providers are unable to identify the portion of the bad debt related to fee screen payments before their cost reports are required to be filed, disclosure should be made in the cover letter accompanying the cost reports. Once the bad debts relating to services paid on the fee screen are identified, providers may request to file amended cost reports. Providers are being given the opportunity to revise their bad debt lists through cost report reopening requests…"
"CMS uses different fee schedules for various provider types. Providers generally reimbursed under outpatient PPS (OPPS), can look at Addendum B (Federal Register Final Rule published annually by CMS) for a list of services that are paid with a status indicator "A" (denoting fee schedule services). Services that may be paid on a fee schedule, depending on your provider type, include the following:
If you provide services reimbursed under any of these fee schedules, please ensure that bad debts are not claimed for any unpaid deductible and coinsurance.
Publication Date: Thursday, January 08, 2009
A leader from McKesson discusses how healthcare reform is forcing hospitals and health systems to take a different approach to capacity management and patient flow.
Patient financial engagement is more challenging than ever – and more critical. With patient responsibility as a percentage of revenue on the rise, providers have seen their billing-related costs and accounts receivable levels increase. If increasing collection yield and reducing costs are a priority for your organization, the metrics outlined in this presentation will provide the framework you need to understand what’s working and what’s not, in order to guide your overall patient financial engagement initiatives and optimize results.
Emad Rizk, MD, president and CEO of Accretive Health, discusses the uncertainty facing hospitals and the transitions affecting revenue cycle management.
No two patients are the same. Each has a very personal healthcare experience, and each has distinct financial needs and preferences that have an impact on how, when and if they chose to pay their healthcare bill. It’s no longer effective to apply static billing techniques to solve the complex challenge of collecting balances from patients. The need to tailor financial conversations and payment options to individual needs and preferences is critical. This presentation provides 10 recommendations that will not only help you improve payment performance through a more tailored approach, but take control of rising collection costs.
Jim Bohnsack, vice president, solution & corporate development for Conifer Health Solutions, explains how the company helps healthcare providers leverage data to deliver better outcomes while optimizing reimbursement for all payment arrangements.
This white paper, written by Apex Vice President of Solutions and Services, Carrie Romandine, discusses the importance of patient segmentation and messaging specifically related to the patient revenue cycle. Applying strategic messaging that is tailored to each patient type will not only better educate consumers on payment options specific to their billing needs, but it will maximize the amount collected before sending to collections. Further, targeted messaging should be applied across all points of patient interaction (i.e. point of service, customer service, patient statements) and analyzed regularly for maximized results.
Steve Scibetta, senior director of channel sales for Ontario Systems' healthcare product line, shares insights into effectively managing receivables.
This white paper, written by Apex President Patrick Maurer, discusses methods to increase patient adoption of online payments. Providers are now seeking ways to incrementally collect more payments due from patients as well as speeding up the rate of collections. This white paper shows why patient-centric approaches to online payment portals are important complements to traditional provider-centric approaches.
Elena White, vice president of risk, quality, and network solutions for Optum, discusses how healthcare providers can leverage data and technology as they enable risk in their organization.
Increased electronic engagement between healthcare providers and patients provides significant opportunities for improving revenue cycle metrics and encouraging patients to access EHRs. This article, written by Apex Founder and CEO Brian Kueppers, explores a number of strategies to create synergy between patient billing, online payment portals and electronic health record (EHR) software to realize a high ROI in speed to payment, patient satisfaction and portal adoption for meaningful use.
Somnia President and CEO Marc Koch, MD, MBA, explains how hospitals can drive transformative change in the perioperative experience for outstanding clinical and financial outcomes.
Faced with a rising tide of bad debt, a large Southeastern healthcare system was seeing a sharp decline in net patient revenues. The need to improve collections was dire. By integrating critical tools and processes, the health system was able to increase online payments and improve its financial position. Taking a holistic approach increased overall collection yield by 10% while costs came down because the number of statements sent to patients fell by 10%, which equated to a $1.3M annualized improvement in patient cash over a six-month period. This case study explains how.
PMMC President Roger L. Shaul discusses the effects of healthcare reform on revenue cycle management and how PMMC's products help clients adapt to a changing financial environment.
With the ICD10 deadline quickly approaching and daily responsibilities not slowing down, final preparations for October 1 require strategic prioritization and laser focus.
Greg Burgess, Founder and Chief Product Officer at Burgess Group shares insights and opportunities for payment integrity in the rapidly changing healthcare IT landscape.
Read how Gwinnett Medical Center provides clear connections to financial information, offers multiple payment options for patients, and gives onsite staff the ability to collect payments at multiple points throughout the care process.
Read how Orlando Health was able to perform deeper dives into claims data to help the health system see claim rejections more quickly–even on the front end–and reduce A/R days.
To maintain fiscal fitness and boost patient satisfaction and loyalty, healthcare providers need visibility into when and how much they will be paid–by whom–and the ability to better navigate obstacles to payment. They need payment clarity. This whitepaper illuminates this concept that is winning fans at forward-thinking hospitals.
Financial services staff are always looking for ways to improve the verification, billing and collections processes, and Munson Healthcare is no different. Read about how they streamlined the billing process to produce cleaner bills on the front end and helped financial services staff collect more than $1 million in additional upfront annual revenue in one year.
Effective revenue cycle management can be a challenge for any hospital, but for smaller providers it is even tougher. Read how Wallace Thomson identified unreimbursed procedures, streamlined claims management, and improved its ability to determine charity eligibility.
Before launching an energy-efficiency initiative, it’s important to build a solid business case and understand the funding options and potential incentives that are available. Healthcare leaders should consider taking the steps outlined in the whitepaper to ease the process of gaining approval, piloting, implementing, and supporting sustainability projects. You will find that investing in sustainability and energy efficiency helps hospitals add cash to their bottom line. Discover how hospitals and health systems have various options for funding energy-efficient and renewable-energy initiatives, depending on their current financial structure and strategy.
Health care is a dynamic mergers and acquisitions market with numerous hospitals and health systems contemplating or pursuing formal arrangements with other entities. These relationships often pose a strategic benefit, such as enhancing competencies across the continuum, facilitating economies of scale, or giving the participants a competitive advantage in a crowded market. Underpinning any profitable acquisition is a robust capital planning strategy that ensures an organization reserves sufficient funds and efficiently onboards partners that advance the enterprise mission and values.
The success of healthcare mergers, acquisitions, and other affiliations is predicated in part on available capital, and the need for and sources of funding are considerations present throughout the partnering process, from choosing a partner to evaluating an arrangement’s capital needs to selecting an integration model to finding the right money source to finance the deal. This whitepaper offers several strategies that health system leaders have used to assess and manage capital needs for their growing networks.
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