Rural health care facilities struggle to make ends meet

Jul 22, 2015 | Hospital Finance Efficiency

One area of the health care industry in dire need of reform is rural healthcare. An increasing number of practices, clinics and hospitals are folding in rural areas due to the high cost of operation and the low generation of revenue. One effort that could save facilities on the cusp of insolvency is revenue cycle management through better collection practices. In an interview with Healthcare Finance News, Brock Slabach, senior vice president for member services at the National Rural Health Association, described the problem facing rural medical practices. 

"You have a shortage of primary care physicians, which could provide an impulse to use the emergency room or drive somewhere to get care," said Slabach. "Conditions 30 years ago that put someone in the hospital for five days now are treated as outpatient. Technology and medicine have combined to reduce the need for hospital services."

While some of these changes reflect an improvement in medical treatment, the need for emergency care and other services in remote areas of the country persists. Residents in communities underserved by health care networks may be required to drive hours to the nearest accredited hospital or medical center. As such, the need for rural care facilities to survive is greater than it's ever been, particularly as more Americans gain access to affordable health insurance. Improving hospital finance management is one way to keep operations afloat where they're most needed. 

If your organization's revenue cycle is struggling to make ends meet, one solution is to outsource receivables management. This allows administrators to reduce backlogs of outstanding claims and focus on high-priority cases. Contact Professional Medical Services today to learn more about our solutions for hospitals, clinics, private practices and medical centers.