by Philip Trent, VP of Business Development, CHC Supply Trust
Many rural hospitals today — health care providers whose mission is to serve their community’s health care needs — are apprehensive about their own financial health. Increasing expenses, decreasing reimbursement and declining patient populations and hospital admissions place these hospitals at risk, threatening financial viability.
For hospitals, “care” typically refers to providing patient care. Yet a hospital’s financial health requires care and attention, too. A sound financial strategy supports the provision of patient care and services communities need, and a significant component of healthcare organizations’ revenue frequently comes from health plan contracts.
Many rural hospitals find it a struggle to achieve positive cash flow and maintain enough days cash on hand to meet their capital and operational needs. This intensifies the importance of ensuring that patient accounting processes, especially billing and collection, are performing at optimal levels.