An Emerging Values-Based Healthcare Payment Model

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Understanding Non-Traditional Physician Reimbursement Paradigms

[By Staff Reporters]

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According to Brian Knabe MD, Mark Fendrick, MD and Michael E. Chernew, PhD, instead of the one size fits all approach of traditional health insurance reimbursement, a “clinically-sensitive” cost-sharing system that supports co-payments related to evidence-based value for targeted patients seems plausible.

The New Model

In this model, out-of-pocket costs are based on price and a cost/quality tradeoff in clinical circumstances: low co-payments for interventions of highest value, and higher co-payments for interventions with little proven health benefit. Smarter benefit packages are designed to combine disease management with cost sharing to address spending growth.

Assessment

Today, whether independent or employed, physicians can pursue creative compensation models not like the one briefly described above and unknown just a decade ago.

Conclusion

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Understanding Hospital Denial Management

An Essay on Rejected Medical Claims and Invoices

By Ross Fidler

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Typically, denied and rejected hospital claims quickly surface as a source of multi-millions  of dollars in revenue leakage and unnecessary expense.

Struggling Payers

Payers have been struggling for decades with increased hospital costs; and the Affordable Care Act of 2010 [ACA] will only increase the stress. Hospitals now thoroughly inspect claims for errors and have become adept at using their rules to deny and delay claims.

For example, Zimmerman reported the denied percentage of gross charges climbed from 4% in 1990 to 11% in 2001; even more by unaudited 2010. In contrast, providers typically lack the tools to aggressively manage current denied claims and prevent future ones.

Denial Tracking

Without denial tracking, an organization may not recognize the heavy financial impact of denied claims. One report www.HARA.com indicates that bad debt and gross days are declining. However, a majority of medical providers write off denials as contractual allowance, distorting the numbers but not the resulting lower margins and reduced cash. H*Works reports that the typical 350-bed hospital loses between $4 million and $9 million each year in earned revenue from denials and underpayments (assume $103 million annual gross revenue and 40% contractual allowance), thru 2009. Recouping lost revenue from denials and underpayments will, according to H*Works, increase an organization’s operating margin by 2.6% www.advisoryboardcompany.com

Industry Benchmarks

Industry estimates report that at least 50% of denials are recoverable and 90% are preventable with the appropriate workflow processes, management commitment, strong change leadership, and the correct technology. H*Works estimates that for a revenue capture of $3 million from denials and underpayments, the recovery infrastructure costs are only about 3%.

Assessment

With all this in mind, better management of rejections and denials, as well as the information necessary to resolve and prevent them, surfaces as probably the best strategy to improving hospital financials. By streamlining the revenue cycle, managing rejections and denials proves to be less expensive and to provide faster returns than initiating new services.

Conclusion

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