Mnet Health News delivers the latest news and information articles for the world of healthcare.

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Million-Dollar Lawsuit Results from Insurer Sending Payment to Patients-Not Doctors

In a report released by CNN, a woman received nearly $375,000 from her insurance company over several months for treatment she received at a California rehabilitation facility. A man received more than $130,000 after he sent his fiancée’s daughter for substance abuse treatment.

Those allegations are part of a lawsuit winding its way through federal court that accuses Anthem and its Blue Cross entities of paying patients directly in an effort to put pressure on health care providers to join their network and to accept lower payments, the article revealed.

The insurance giant is accused of sending more than $1.3 million in payments to patients -- money, the suit claims, that is owed to the facilities that treated people with addiction and mental health problems.

The suit by Sovereign Health highlights part of an ongoing war between insurance companies and providers over payment and billing issues, one that puts the patient right in the middle of the fighting by sending payments straight to patients after they seek out-of-network care.

Patients are supposed to send the money on to providers. Many times, they do; other times, they don’t, according to CNN.

More information: https://cnn.it/2NA0P0U

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How to Avoid Revenue Cycle Outsourcing Mistakes

In today’s evolving healthcare landscape, providers look for ways to better adapt to market conditions while sustaining profitability and gaining a competitive edge, so they opt to outsource some or all their revenue cycle functions to a third-party vendor. 

Healthcare providers are under intense pressure to reduce spending while improving care quality and revenue cycle outsourcing has the potential to significantly decrease costs and increase efficiency. 

A Black Book survey found that 80 percent of hospital leaders are considering or vetting full revenue cycle management outsourcing by the end of 2019. The surveyed hospital executives said they would partner with a third-party vendor to help manage their revenue cycle so that they could focus on decreasing costs and value-based care implementation.

The global healthcare revenue cycle management outsourcing market is projected to see significant growth at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.9 percent from 2017 to 2023, according to one market report estimate, with the market reaching a valuation of $23 billion by the end of the period.

The decision to outsource revenue cycle management is complex but usually involves the elements of cost, access to expertise, technology, and scalability to be able to perform well under an increased and expanding workload and demand. Outsourcing allows providers to focus on their core functions and free themselves from the burden of paying a high amount of fixed costs for handling billing in-house. 

Here are some benefits to revenue cycle outsourcing: 

Lower overall cost (while achieving similar or better performance)

Advanced revenue cycle technology and optimized processes

Scalability of operations, such as adding new facilities

Access to experienced and centralized talent pools 

However, there are also some pitfalls to outsourcing especially if providers are not able to work with the right partner.  In common cases, reports of high denial rates and their causes remain undetermined due to a general lack of effective analytics and transparency. Some third-party vendors can become less professional, unresponsive and exhibit a lack of cooperation compared to the initial sales period. 

Recently, Astria Health (a three-hospital system in eastern Washington) filed for bankruptcy, citing poor A/R performance from revenue cycle outsourcing as the primary cause behind their declining cash flow. The third-party vendor was put in charge of office billing, claims processing, and collecting but failed to process large amounts of accounts receivable (A/R) in a timely manner, resulting in a significant cashflow shortfall for Astria Health. 

Therefore, here are some strategies to consider in avoiding revenue cycle outsourcing mistakes:

Performance is Key  

Performance should always be the key driver behind outsourcing decisions - not just cost, access to technology, expertise, etc. Pay attention to claim denial rates and patient collection times and compare it with other vendors. 

A partner must execute transparency in its services. If they cannot illustrate results or past performance, they are likely not a good choice. They should not only have a competitive price point, but also have strong performance and industry expertise. 

In defining contract terms with the third-party vendor, clearly and concisely define performance and service-level expectations, which could also carry bonus potential if the vendor overperforms. Setting objective metrics is crucial so that both parties know what the focus is and how they can work together to achieve their goals and enhance operational performance.  

Carefully Consider What to Outsource

The providers should also take into consideration the aspects of their revenue cycle that their organization must outsource. That said, there are some variables that are especially significant. Some organizations outsource their revenue cycle from end to end while some only outsource revenue cycle components such as coding and accounts receivable follow-up and the rest are retained in-house. What course an organization chooses will depend on its characteristics and pain points. Selecting the right partner for the specific revenue cycle component you are outsourcing is crucial and requires careful evaluation. 

Choose a Partner You Can Trust

Providers need to make sure that their relationship with their vendor is extremely transparent. Both sides need to understand that they are going to work very closely to succeed. Providers need to know their partner vendor’s support staff and capabilities well.  Are they offshoring any of their work?  Do they have experienced coders?  Do they have well-trained and friendly staff?  How do they handle claims denials?  

Outsourcing can be a highly effective solution to gain a competitive advantage. By choosing the right outsourcing partner, providers can better manage change and move toward decreased costs and increased efficiency so that they can focus on delivering better quality of care.

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Employer-Based Insurance Premiums Create Growing Burden for Families



A growing number of consumers are doling out more of their paychecks for health care premium contributions through their employer insurance plans, according to The Commonwealth Fund Report “The Cost of Employer Insurance is a Growing Burden for Middle Income Families.”

“The cost of employer health insurance premiums and deductibles continues to outpace growth in workers’ wages. This is concerning because it may put both coverage and health care out of reach for people who need it most—people with low incomes and those with health problems,” said Sara Collins, lead author of the study and Commonwealth Fund vice president for health care coverage and access, in a news release.

“Policies that would reduce health care burdens on employees include fixing the Affordable Care Act’s family coverage glitch, requiring employers to exclude some services from the deductible and increasing the required minimum value of employer plans.”

Key findings from The Commonwealth Fund include:

In 2017, the average employee premium costs for single and family insurance plans totaled almost 7 percent of the median income in the U.S., compared to 5 percent in 2008.

Combined, the total expense from premiums for workers and “potential spending” on deductibles for single and family insurance plans increased to an annual amount of $7,240 in 2017. 

Employees’ contributions for insurance premiums also increased.  “Between 2016 and 2017, employee premium contributions rose by 6.8 percent to $1,415 for single-person plans and by 5.3 percent to $5,218 for family plans.”

See more information from the report here https://bit.ly/2PV28ah and in Data Watch.

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Billing Tree Survey Reveals Increase in Shift to Online Payments

Online payments are catching up in the health care industry, where common payment methods continue to be on-site, mail and through live phone agents.  BillingTree, in results from its third annual Healthcare Operations and Technology Survey, reports 63 percent of providers offer web portal payments and more than 25 percent also offer options for text-based payment—a substantial increase over previous years’ findings.

Of note, providers’ responses show that plans to implement text-based payments surpass “Interactive Voice Response (IVR) automation.”  “The survey found the biggest payment pain-points facing health care providers for two consecutive years have been a patient’s inability to pay, collecting once the patient has left the facility, a lack of payment channels, compliance and issues related to insurance billing,” according to a news release from BillingTree, an ACA International affiliate member company in Phoenix.

However, the survey results also show payment options are changing to address these pain-points as well as patients who prefer having customer service and payment availability 24/7, according to the news release. “The BillingTree Healthcare Survey series continues to show a sector gravitating toward new payment technologies to improve revenue cycle management. 

This is evident in the continued strong adoption of web portals, IVR and now, for the first time, text-related payments—mirroring the overall mobile payment trend in the industry,” Pat McIntyre, BillingTree’s vice president of health care, said in the news release.  More information: https://bit.ly/2LvgltR

 

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CMS New Price Transparency Tool: How Your ASC Can Benefit

Last month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a new online tool to display cost differences for Medicare payments and copayments between hospital outpatient departments (HOPD’s) and ambulatory surgery centers (ASC’s). The new tool called Procedure Price Lookup helps patients with Medicare consider potential cost differences (average Medicare payments) when choosing where to have a medical procedure that best suits their needs. The costs do not include professional service fees however.

This tool is part of CMS' e-Medicine initiative, which includes drug pricing and spending dashboards. Between HOPD’s and ASC’s, costs can be quite different. For example, knee arthroscopy (with a meniscus repair) is $1,024 in an ASC versus $2,116 in an HOPD. That’s a $1092 difference between the two settings. Medicare beneficiaries without supplemental insurance also have a co-pay of $256 in an ASC versus $529 in an HOPD.

Prepare for Impact

Depending on how many consumers use Procedure Price Lookup and if the price differential is significant, case volumes would clearly change to favor one setting over the other.

As patients have more information about the costs of procedures, healthcare facilities should prepare for changes in activity levels and patterns at facilities.

Physicians would also be affected in at least two ways. First, some patients are likely to ask about the price comparison in discussing elective surgery with their physicians. Second, physicians who co-own ACS’s might benefit if more patients choose ASC’s for their surgical procedures.

Effects of Price Transparency

According to a study by The American Surgeon, ASC’s adopting price transparency can see increases in surgical volume, revenue and patient satisfaction. 

In the study, the authors identified ASC’s that list prices online in the Free Market Medical Association database. The study revealed that:

Patient volume increased by a median of 50 percent in one year (among five ASC’s that reported their patient volume and revenue after adopting price transparency).

Revenue increased by a median of 30 percent (among four centers that reported a revenue increase. 

Third-party administrator contracts increased as reported by three ASC’s.

Administrative burden reduced as reported by three centers.

Patient satisfaction and patient engagement increased after adopting price transparency as reported by five ASC’s.

More transparency to come?

On July 25, U.S. House Representative Daniel Lipinski, D-Ill., introduced a bill called the "Hospital Price Transparency and Disclosure Act of 2018". The bill would require all hospitals and ASC’s to disclose charges of the top 100 inpatient and outpatient procedures for both insured and uninsured patients. To become law, the bill must be passed by Congress and signed by President Trump.

CMS also finalized the hospital price transparency requirement in the 2019 Inpatient and Long-Term Care Hospital Prospective Payment System rule in August 2018. Hospitals are required to publish a list of their standard charges on the Internet or available upon request in a machine-readable format that can be easily imported into a computer system. This new change will take effect January 1, 2019.

With more price transparency and more procedures moving towards the outpatient setting, ASC’s are ripe for growth. As the industry moves toward a patient-centered healthcare system, price transparency will be considered a top priority.

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3 Strategies to Deliver Better Patient-Centered Financial Experiences

There’s a growing trend affecting patients in the U.S. today: delaying or avoiding care because of concerns about costs. High out-of-pocket costs are restraining access to care for many. Even when patients have access and decide to get care, the costs and the financial experience result in even more stress.

Today’s healthcare consumers are also increasingly demanding efficient and smooth experiences as they take a greater financial responsibility for their care. In a study by global brand and marketing consultancy Prophet, only 23 percent of healthcare providers measure their consumer relationship. 

Reimbursement policies are placing patients at the center of value-based purchasing and bundled payment models. Hence, a significant percentage of your facility’s A/R is in the hands of patients. With increasing patient financial responsibility, it is essential to give patients a better financial experience.  

Here are 3 strategies to give better financial experiences for your patients:

Using Payment Integration

Payment integration allows your center to be where your patients are in terms of their preferred method to make payments. When your payment system is integrated with your other systems, you have opportunities to collect at every patient interaction point.

With payment integration, patients can have access to their accounts online so they can see what their insurance has covered, verify recurring payments, check their payment status, and make payments anytime and anywhere. You can enable patients to make payments through any payment channel (online, mobile, over the phone, bank’s bill pay site, etc.) with all payments posting to your existing system in real-time.

Providers that use automated payment systems that can post patient payments directly to the patient accounting system report collection increases and AR reductions.

Train Staff

A highly engaged staff likely boosts patient experience, translating into better performance. According to a study by Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, patient experience scores pertaining to interactions with nurses have the strongest association with hospital financial outcomes. ASC staff needs to be able to empathize with patients and be trained to use tools and technologies that improve the patient experience.  

The study also found that staff engagement measures such as quality of staff, staff communication and responsiveness, and appointment ease, among others, were the most important drivers of patient experience.

Find the Right Partner

Financial services are not a core competency for healthcare providers. But by partnering with companies with core expertise in revenue cycle management and financial services that streamline the end-to-end payment process, providers can solve their most pressing financial problems as well as improve the patient experience. 

Your center needs to partner with healthcare-exclusive vendors rather than a one-size-fits-all agency. Choose healthcare specific vendors that take time to educate patients and help patients understand their financial responsibility in the friendliest possible way. The right partner can raise your facility’s standards for ensuring patient satisfaction and improving collections with implementation of technology, automation, and optimization of revenue cycle processes.

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How ASC’s Can Protect Patients from Surprise Medical Bills

Exorbitant medical bills have become a new reality for patients. Even when patients receive care in an environment characterized by low co-pays and deductibles, they find it difficult to adjust to high medical bills where out-of-network payments are becoming increasingly normal. 

It is now common for patients to receive additional bills from out-of-network providers, even after settling their co-pays and deductibles. These additional charges come as a surprise as they believe their insurance companies should have settled what they owe to providers.

With surprise medical bills now attracting attention nationally, ASC’s want to develop strategies to protect their patients from them.

Growing Popularity of Surprise Medical Bills

Surprise medical bills arise because patients receive care from providers outside their networks, either in an emergency or for a procedure not offered by their in-network providers. Since these providers have no prior contracts with their insurance companies, they typically send additional bills to patients. In other words, patients are being balance billed. 

Patients are however becoming increasingly aware of surprise bills and are not being quiet about it. This is evidenced in the growing media coverage on the subject which has created public awareness to protect other unsuspecting patients.

There is an increasing need for ASC’s to operate with patients within their network. This comes because of pressures from insurance companies who are also compelling their patients to receive care from providers that they have prior relationships with, to avoid high out-of-network payments.  

The Complexity of Surprise Medical Bills  

Despite these reactions, surprise medical billing has become more complicated and this calls for a proactive response from surgery centers to protect their patients. 

Initially, surprise medical bills would only arise when emergency treatments from providers took place outside of the patient’s carrier network. This is no longer the case as patients today can still receive surprise bills even when their care comes from providers within their network. 

This is because an ASC can be in-network while some of its medical staff are out-of-network. Providers can decide whether they want to be in or out-of-network.  Take for instance an anesthesiologist who decides to stay out-of-network to receive higher payments than he would if he operated within the patient’s network.  

These type of providers are referred to as “invisible providers”. They include anesthesia, pathology, and lab professionals. Patients typically pay less attention to the involvement of these professionals in their surgical care because they are more likely to build relationships with their surgeons or physical therapists when having surgery.

Even though ASC’s are making effort to ensure that these “invisible providers” are brought in-network, some remain out-of-network. This can pose a challenge for a surgery center as patients often hold surgeons and facility owners responsible for any surprise medical bills they might receive.

ASC’s must therefore be proactive to ensure that most of their ancillary professionals are brought in-network. Services rendered by those that can’t be brought in-network should be clearly communicated to patients.

Understanding the Legal Rules

Because of the public clamoring for protection against surprise medical bills, five states including California and New York have passed laws aimed at protecting patients. This trend is poised to increase in scope as two other states, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, are also on the verge of passing laws against surprise bills.

These laws have important features that ASC’s need to pay attention to. Laws can restrict what providers are permitted to charge patients for an out-of-network service. They can also require that patients be fully aware and give consent to receiving care from an out-of-network provider. In the event of disputes between providers and patients, the laws also make provision for the resolution of such disputes.

Providers operating in these states should ensure they understand these laws to avoid lawsuits. Even providers that do not have facilities in these states ought to take steps to ensure that patients are protected from surprise bills. Since ASC’s are known for providing high-quality low- cost treatment, a facility can easily lose patronage from patients if surprise billing is normal and not occasional.

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Federal Court Rules for Accounts Receivable Management Industry in Case Supported by ACA’s Industry Advancement Program

The U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska ruled in favor of the accounts receivable management industry in the April 2018 case of Robinson v. Accelerated Receivables Solutions (A.R.S.), Inc. and David W. Brostrom, 17-00056, 2018 WL ------- (D.Neb. April 19, 2018). The key issues in Robinson were:

Whether Nebraska law allows for the recovery of attorney fees or interest when suing to collect medical debt; and

Whether Nebraska law allows a collection agency to seek and recover an award of attorney’s fees when such fees are incurred by its in-house counsel.

The federal district court in Nebraska held that under Nebraska statute, creditors and their assignees are entitled to request attorney fees and interest on claims for “services rendered” and “material furnished,” which includes unpaid debt for medical services and supplies. 

The district court reasoned that regardless of how the collection agency characterized its claim in the state court, debt collection action as one for “services and supplies” rather than as “an action on account,” the medical “debts at issue were incurred for services rendered or materials furnished” and, therefore, fell within the scope of the Nebraska law allowing the collection agency to request an award of interest and attorney fees.

The district court also found that there is “no basis for disallowing attorney’s fees under [Nebraska statute] by reason of [the collection agency’s] employment of in-house counsel.” In doing so, the district court rejected the consumer’s argument that the collection agency was acting like “a law firm suing pro se, and attorney fees are not recoverable by pro se litigants, even those who are attorneys.” [Editor’s note: When a litigant proceeds without legal counsel, they are said to be proceeding “on one’s own behalf” or “pro se.”] 

The district court explained that while “pro se litigants cannot recover attorney’s fees,” there is no legal reason to define the collection agency as a “pro se law firm.”  In Robinson, the collection agency sought to collect payment from the consumer for unpaid medical bills. Through its in-house counsel, the agency filed a lawsuit in county court against the consumer seeking recovery of the debt, along with an award of pre-judgment interest and attorney’s fees allowed under Nebraska state law. 

The consumer responded by filing a class action Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Nebraska Consumer Protection Act lawsuit against the agency. The consumer did so to try to end-around common practice in Nebraska in which collection agencies routinely request state law authorized pre-judgment interest and attorney’s fees.  Since the collection of pre-judgment interest is an important and integral part of ACA member businesses, ACA filed an amicus brief in the Robinson case on February 13, 2018. 

ACA submitted the “friend of the court” brief to support its member’s case, and to provide assistance and insight to the federal district court in Nebraska with respect to how the issues raised in Robinson have potential impact well beyond Nebraska. 

ACA asserted that if the district court were to embrace the consumer’s arguments in Robinson it would “subject [the collection agency] to liability for following a practice that many prior judicial precedents had authorized. To impose liability under these circumstances would violate [constitutional] due process. This Court should . . . apply the law in the same way that the Nebraska state courts have applied it for decades.”

ACA is encouraged that this important decision will positively impact its members’ ability to seek and collect payment of interest and attorney’s fees to which they are entitled. And had the consumer’s claims in Robinson been left unchallenged, the consumer’s counsel would be emboldened to continue developing a cottage industry of pursuing identical class actions lawsuits against various collection agencies and their in-house counsel throughout Nebraska on the same theories.

ACA International’s efforts to proactively support the accounts receivable management industry are part of the association’s Industry Advancement Program, and are made possible by funding through ACA’s Industry Advancement Fund. (https://www.acainternational.org/industryadvancement-program)

 

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Billing Tree Survey Reveals Top Challenges

BillingTree, an ACA International member company in Phoenix, recently released the findings of its second annual Healthcare Operations and Technology Survey showing the impact of technology adoption in the industry, trends in patient payments and new challenges.

The biggest challenges facing providers were a patient’s inability to pay, collecting payments after leaving the facility and more, according to the survey.  Technology adoption continues to remain a key focus in the future. Over the next 12 months, 63 percent of respondents plan to implement a patient payment portal.

“Having collected industry data for two consecutive years, we can see significant trends starting to emerge. One key development is the priority placed on technology adoption,” Dave Yohe, BillingTree’s vice president of marketing said in the news release.  

To request a complimentary copy of the survey, visit: http://bit.ly/2GUNig3

 

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Billing Tree Survey Examines Technology, Payment Solutions

Billing Tree Survey Examines Payment Solutions Technology

BillingTree, an ACA International member company in Phoenix, recently conducted its second annual Healthcare Operations and Technology Survey to examine current trends in the healthcare industry.  The survey is also designed to collect information on opportunities and challenges in the industry “to provide decision-makers with a comprehensive overview on payment technology usage in their sector,” according to a news release.

“The second annual survey of providers will provide an interesting point of comparison with last year’s results, which showed providers were looking to adopt technology to improve the patient experience, maximize settlements manage compliance,” Dave Yohe, vice president of marketing at BillingTree said in the news release. “The annual survey alongside our upcoming webinar both complement the full suite of BillingTree payment solutions and services for the industry.”

In particular, the 2016 results show the primary challenge for industry professionals is payment collection, followed by patients’ inability to pay and concerns about regulatory compliance, according to the news release.  BillingTree’s 2017 surveys also include the ‘Operations and Technology Survey Series’ covering many key vertical markets, including Accounts Receivables Management, Property Management and Financial Services.

The company held an online seminar, “Patient Receivables – Who Are The People In Your Care?” in December to showcase many of the common characters healthcare providers encounter when collecting on patient responsibility. The event will offer useful tips on how services and technology can assist in managing each profile and increase the likelihood of collecting payment in a timely and compliant manner.

Yohe said the survey was open through December and a report on the findings should be available in January.

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Education & Innovation Needed from Providers to Boost Millennial Medical Bill Payments

Credit Bureau TransUnion released a new report recently that points out that the healthcare industry needs to not only simplify the medical bill paying system, to be innovative, and help patients understand their health insurance benefits if they are ever to get millennials to pay their medical bills on a consistent basis.  

This report from TransUnion pointed out that nearly six out of every ten millennials, or about 57 percent, had either no understanding or very little understanding of their health insurance benefits.  The group known as gen X was found to have about 50 percent who said that they had little or no understanding of their benefits while only 41 percent of the baby boomer generation claimed they had little or no understanding of their health insurance.

Another noteworthy finding from the survey was that even though most millennials do have health insurance, it typically takes them longer to pay for their medical services than it does for other generations according to TransUnion.  One reason for this is thought to be transparency in the billing process as well a lack of notification pertaining to out-of-pocket costs by insurance companies prior to treatment.  

The TransUnion report also points out that 46 percent of millennials polled said they would that the likelihood that they would pay for their medical services would be greater if cost estimates were given at point of service.  It appears that education surrounding their approach to health insurance options would be helpful to them.  The report showed that 26 percent of millennials were happy with high deductible health insurance plan options, whereas on 17 percent of gen X chose these plans and only nine percent of the baby boom generation chose such plans.

“Providers should be looking for opportunities to improve cash flow coming from millennial patients to continue thriving.  At Mnet, we have live agents who are more than happy to work with patients to help educate them about the healthcare process and how their health insurance policy works.  We have found that this drastically enhances the patient experience” said Mnet Health CEO David Hamilton.

Another interesting point that came from the TransUnion report is that millennials are the most likely to compare costs for healthcare with a full 40 percent saying that they have shopped rates whereas only 29 percent of gen Xers and 22 percent of baby boomers have shopped around for servicing costs.  

While it’s true that baby boomers are the most likely to have medical needs and the high costs related to those needs; it appears possible that a campaign aimed at educating them about the value of shopping around for services could likely create a change in their spending.  Generation X could also benefit from comparing healthcare costs as well.  Meanwhile, transparency in pricing for services is likely to add to the numbers of those who shop pricing for healthcare services.

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IRS Revokes Nonprofit Status from Hospital Under 501(r)

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), for the first time since regulations for tax-exempt hospitals went into effect in October 2016, has revoked the nonprofit status for one hospital.  Nonprofit hospitals are required to comply with the Internal Revenue Service’s 501 (r) rules, including completing a community health needs assessment and meeting financial assistance policy requirements. Hospitals subject to 501(r) must also adhere to limitations on charges and follow billing and collection practices under the requirements, ACA International previously reported in the January 2016 issue of Pulse.

According to a report from FierceHealthcare, “The IRS deemed the hospital ‘egregious’ for its failure to meet the requirements, concluding that it had ‘neither the will, the resources, nor the staff to follow through’ with them.”  The IRS issued a letter to the hospital for the revocation in February 2017 and released it on their website in August.  The primary reason for the revocation, according to FierceHealthcare, is the hospital failed to make its community health needs assessment available to the public online.

The letter states: “You are a hospital organization which with the requirements of IRC section 501 (r), to conduct a community health needs assessment, adopt an implementation strategy and make it widely available to the public.”  It also states the hospital is a small rural facility without the financial or staffing resources to dedicate to meeting the requirements of 501 (r) and the community health needs assessment.

Under the Affordable Care Act, the IRS is required to review activities at tax-exempt hospitals once every three years.  Requirements, previously reported in Pulse, for a hospital to maintain its nonprofit status, set by the IRS and mandated by the Affordable Care Act, include:

Establishing written financial assistance and emergency medical care policies.

Limiting amounts charged for emergency or other medically necessary care to individuals eligible for assistance to not more than amounts billed to people with insurance for the care.

Determining if an individual is eligible for financial assistance before using extraordinary collection practices.

Conducting a community health needs assessment and adopt an implementation strategy at least once every three years.

Jan Smith, a tax senior manager in Crowe Horwath’s Healthcare practice, said in an interview with the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) that it is unlikely this action by the IRS will set a precedent for revoking nonprofit status of other hospitals.

“If hospitals are making a good-faith effort to comply, I would be surprised if the IRS would revoke their tax status at this stage of 501 (r) examinations,” Smith said in the interview with HFMA.  More information: http://ow.ly/uhRX30eAJylhttp://bit.ly/2v7F79R and http://bit.ly/2w5LMVH.

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