Centralized Business Office for Small & Rural Hospitals

rural courthouse

Healthcare Industry Challenges

The majority of hospitals in the U.S., regardless of size or type, are currently suffering negative implications to cash flow due to a number of industry-wide conditions. With constantly evolving changes to Medicare and Medicaid, it is increasingly difficult for even fully-staffed and well-trained hospital business offices to effectively meet compliance requirements on a continuous basis. If not well-versed with the current procedural requirements and guidelines, it is also very difficult for the average business office to achieve accurate and timely receipt of governmental reimbursements.

In addition, providers commonly experience similar difficulties in managing reimbursements from the commercial insurance companies and other 3rd party payer organizations, further tying up valuable resources and negatively impacting cash flow. Last but not least, the growing uninsured and underinsured patient population is pushing hospital uncompensated care levels to all-time highs. As a result, the need for providers to improve self-pay and self-pay after insurance processes has become imperative.

 

Impact to Small & Rural Providers

The small and rural hospitals are especially vulnerable to the conditions described above. Since a number of recent industry trends and regulatory constraints have already squeezed operating margins to painfully thin levels, it is of utmost importance that these providers have processes and systems in place that ensure all receivables and other financial operations are handled as quickly and efficiently as possible. However, due to the workforce shortages that typically exist in rural and remote areas, coupled with the high turnover rates common in most business office environments, the ability for a small and rural hospital to accomplish this objective is extremely challenging.

It is for these reasons that ARx, a trusted and experienced business office resource for hospitals across the country since 1997, has spent the past year meeting with various hospital associations and healthcare councils at the national, regional and state levels in an effort to explore possible solutions that could help the small and rural provider overcome these challenges.

One solution that continues to receive the most positive response involves the creation of “Centralized Business Office” operations units within a “shared services” platform that could be customized to service the specific needs of certain groups of related or unrelated hospitals. The conclusion derived from this due diligence effort is that, if appropriately designed and implemented, a CBO solution operating within a shared services environment would assist these hospitals in overcoming certain financial and resource-based challenges that all too often limit the effectiveness (and in some cases threaten the existence) of many small and rural hospitals across the country.

 

Centralized Business Office (CBO) operations unit provided by ARx is:

  • Housed within a “shared services” platform
  • Designed specifically for designated groups of small and rural hospitals
  • Employed with well-trained and seasoned groups of business office personnel, all of whom are extremely knowledgeable with the many different payer organizations and the operating procedures of each
  • Equipped with the latest technology and proven “best practice” processes
  • Initially incubated from within the ARx corporate operations center, the CBO migrates to regional locations located in proximity to the hospitals being served
  • A solution that enables hospitals to significantly bridge the gap between themselves and their payers, allowing cash to flow in an accurate and timelier manner

For more information regarding this service, please click on CBO America.