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AHA Rural Health Care Leadership Wrap-Up Article

Here's what we learned

March 2023

CBIZ recently exhibited at the AHA Rural Health Care Leadership Conference in San Antonio. At the conference, we had the opportunity to meet many rural hospital stakeholders, from hospital associations to rural health networks to hospital CEOs and board members. The conference was a terrific opportunity to share knowledge and to discuss topics and issues of importance specific to rural healthcare communities.

In speaking with attendees at the conference, the most pressing topic was managed care contracting and negotiations. For many rural hospitals, one key contract, whether it’s commercial, Medicare Advantage, or managed Medicaid, can play an outsized role in their overall profitability. Thus, it’s paramount to get this key contract to work for them. We spoke with a number of hospitals about our managed care negotiating and contract modeling capabilities.

Many rural hospitals have formed network associations to help with shared services, purchasing, and the identification of vendors and solutions. We talked with a number of these associations about specific needs for their member hospitals, with potential interest in managed care contracting, coding audits and behavioral health coding and billing.

Medicaid disenrollment was also an issue for several hospitals. For many rural hospitals, Medicaid is a significant part of their payer mix and the prospect of losing beneficiaries with the disenrollment process was a huge concern. Many hospitals don’t have the available staffing to reenroll these patients onsite or the outreach efforts to be proactive in contacting their patients about the reenrollment process.

And finally, no conference is ever complete without a couple of hospitals looking for coding audits. Many rural hospitals don’t have the ability to run a thorough internal audit program to validate their coding accuracy, and thus need outside assistance. In addition, most hospitals can improve revenue with coding education, whether it be for inpatient, outpatient or physician coding. Audits are a first step in understanding which specific coding issues need to be addressed to improve revenue.

Overall, we really enjoyed exhibiting at the conference and the opportunity to meet so many folks who were passionately invested in the success of their healthcare organization.

For more information about how CBIZ can assist your organization, please contact Adam Abramowitz at 609-220-5627 or at [email protected]

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