The recent unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has left many hospitals of all sizes to scramble for various resources, including physical resources, human resources, and financial resources. Unfortunately, while the majority of hospitals across the nations share this burden, Critical Access Hospitals are arguably ones under the most financial distress. Due to financial difficulty, these smaller hospitals struggle to maintain their hospital status under the current payment system, which has been an issue even before the start of the recent coronavirus pandemic. In fact, did you know that 46% of rural hospitals operated at a loss in 2019? This is an increase from 44% in 2018 and 40% in 2017. What’s more, many of these smaller hospitals are not only struggling, but closing down. A 2018 GAO report reported 64 rural hospital closures between 2013 and 2017 due to financial difficulties. To put this figure into perspective, this is well over double the amount of rural hospitals that closed in the preceding five-year period.
What’s the Problem?
While the issue at hand is multi-factorial, one of the biggest causes of these closures and losses is revenue pressure. According to Becker’s Hospital Review, “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.” To add to that issue, we also know from experience that many Critical Access Hospitals struggle to secure reimbursement when patients are transferred to the larger Acute care facilities not long after they arrive. Larger facilities have dedicated personnel to deal with the complexities of filing rules, which tends to affect which facility receives the applicable reimbursement to be in their favor. With their comparative lack of resources, it’s easy to understand why Critical Access Hospitals often miss out on various reimbursement opportunities and thus have significant financial struggles.
Introducing Midland On-Call
Here at The Midland Group, we believe in the importance of helping Critical Access Hospitals not only survive, but thrive. We understand that, unlike many of the larger hospitals, Critical Access Hospitals hold up an important pillar of the economy in many rural areas. In fact, we believe that not only are Critical Access Hospitals vital in the creation of jobs and opportunities for its communities, they also act as incentive for businesses to open their doors and for families to move to these counties. As the NRHA puts it, “without a rural hospital, a community will crumble.”
That’s where we step in. After many long months spent on careful development, The Midland Group is pleased to announce our latest program, Midland On-Call: Patient Advocacy and Self-Pay Solutions™ reserved exclusively for Critical Access Hospitals. This membership program offers Critical Access Hospitals the same resources and firepower traditionally reserved for large acute care hospitals and multi-provider based healthcare systems in a way that is effective and financially makes sense for any CAH facility.
Features of Midland On-Call include:
- Public Benefit Eligibility Solutions including Medicaid Screening & Application Processing, SSI/SSDI, Crime Victims Compensation, etc.
- Early Out Support including prompt-pay and payment plan negotiation.
- Managed payment plans at no cost to your hospital.
- Financial Assistance Screening and application assistance
- Accident Recovery Solutions including 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 choose how patient-centered resources are applied to your patient population.
We understand the confusion and difficulty in navigating the financial landscape of healthcare these days. If you are part of a Critical Access Hospital, know that you are not alone. As a community-minded partner, The Midland Group has helped countless facilities–small and large alike–to increase billing efficiency and maximize reimbursement rates. As a member of the Midland On-Call program, our participating CAH partners ensure that their patients receive the advocacy they need to qualify for public healthcare benefits and have the information they need to resolve their self-pay balances. Contact us today to learn more about the program and find out how you can secure an On-Call membership. Let us deal with the hard stuff, so that you can focus on what matters.