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Impact of COVID-19 on Critical Access Hospitals

Impact Of COVID-19 On Critical Access Hospitals

Surge In COVID-19 Cases

It’s no surprise that Critical Access Hospitals nationwide are negatively impacted by COVID-19. As of November 2nd, Kansas has had 89,227 COVID-19 cases, 3,893 hospitalizations, and 1,046 statewide deaths. Just a few weeks ago, a rural hospital in southwestern Kansas was unable to care for a severely ill patient with COVID-19. The patient needed to be treated in the ICU, however, the closest ICU was completely full, and the nearest open ICU was seven hours away. Once there was eventually a spot in the closest ICU, the patient was in desperate need of being intubated and was starting to decline. The coronavirus is starting to get worse, and the Critical Access Hospitals are beginning to struggle.

 

What’s The Issue With Critical Access Hospitals?

Critical Access Hospitals are struggling the most during this pandemic because they are under the most financial distress. Over the past 15 years, 174 rural hospitals have had to close in the United States and the pandemic is only accelerating this trend. So far, 15 rural hospitals have closed in 2020 due to hospitals being forced to cancel elective surgeries, which is the main source of their revenue. Among the rural hospitals that remain, more than half of them don’t have an intensive care unit.

Before the pandemic hit, smaller hospitals were already unable to maintain their hospital status under the current payment system. “Rural areas have fewer commercial payers than more urban markets, which means these hospitals have a higher volume of state-funded healthcare with lower reimbursement rates,” according to Becker’s Hospital Review. Larger hospitals can dedicate individuals to deal with these difficulties of filing rules, which helps decide which facility receives the applicable reimbursement to be in their favor. Critical Access Hospitals lack resources in this department; therefore, they often miss out on various reimbursement opportunities which leads to financial distress.

How Midland On-Call Can Help Critical Access Hospitals

Here at The Midland Group, we believe that Critical Access Hospitals are not only vital in the creation of jobs and opportunities for communities, they also allow businesses to continue opening their doors. That is why we created Midland On-Call: Patient Advocacy and Self-Pay Solutions, which is reserved exclusively for Critical Access Hospitals. The Midland Group believes that Critical Access Hospitals should have the same resources and firepower that is traditionally reserved for large acute care hospitals and multi-provider-based healthcare systems.

Features of Midland On-Call Include:

Public Benefits Eligibility Solutions consisting of Medicaid Screening & Application Processing, SSI/SSDI, Crime Victims Compensation, etc.

Early Out Support which includes prompt-pay and negotiating payment plans.

Managed payment plans at no cost to your hospital.

Financial Assistance Screening and assistance with the application.

Accident Recovery Solutions consisting of PIP/Med-Pay capture, hospital lien filing, and Workers’ Compensation follow-up.

Annual 501(r) compliance consultation & legal review, ongoing business office training & support, and much more.

You get to choose how patient-centered resources are applied to your patient population.

Now What?

If you are part of a Critical Access Hospital and you’re struggling, know that you aren’t alone. The Midland Group has helped large and small facilities increase billing efficiency and maximize reimbursement rates. As a member of the Midland On-Call program, you can ensure that your patients are receiving the advocacy they need to qualify for public healthcare benefits and the information they need to resolve their self-pay balances with your hospital. Contact us today to learn how you can secure your spot in this exclusive program. Let us deal with the hard stuff so that you can focus on what matters.

Sources:

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/10/07/920587019/getting-health-care-was-already-tough-in-rural-areas-the-pandemic-has-made-it-wo

https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/21/us/coronavirus-rural-hospitals-invs/index.html

https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/160/COVID-19-in-Kansas

https://www2.ljworld.com/news/state-region/2020/oct/31/surge-in-covid-19-cases-overloads-icus-in-western-kansas/

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/care-coordination/why-rural-hospitals-are-closing.html

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