Three more states voted in this previous election to expand Medicaid. Virginia will be going forward with Medicaid expansion on January 1, 2019.
Though Medicaid reimburses you at a very low rate, they will pay more than most self-pay patients and the cost to collect is much lower. The payer mix shifting from uninsured to Medicaid will also reduce the amount of uncompensated care provided.
It is important to make sure each patient who is eligible for Medicaid is signed up.
We have seen organizations use registration drives at local grocery stores or other areas to reach out to patients and sign them up. Utilizing an eligibility tool when patients are on site and proactively having financial counselors or other staff to sign up patients for Medicaid is also useful.
When patients leave the hospital, your staff should still follow up with them to determine if they have finished the application and provided any requested information to complete the application.
Organizations in states where Medicaid has expanded see the benefits of this on their finances soon after implementation. This report from the University of Michigan shows that from 2013 to 2015, the average hospital saw uncompensated care as a percent of total hospital expenses fall from 4.8% to 2.2%.
Ensuring that all patients who are eligible for Medicaid get signed up, and that they are aware of any work requirements or other rules in your state is a smart way to improve your margin, helping you execute your mission.
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