Managing uncompensated care is a necessary but resource-intensive daily process for many healthcare providers. Without a streamlined, effective routine in place for managing uncompensated care reporting, including worksheet S-10 data, Medicare bad debt (MBD) reimbursement, and Medicare disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments, organizations easily can become overwhelmed. They might also put themselves at risk for missing out on critical reimbursement that’s available to them.
Hospitals have provided more than $660 billion in uncompensated care to their patients since 2000, according to the American Hospital Association.1 A portion of this care might be reimbursable through the DSH uncompensated care pool, which is estimated at nearly $8.3 billion for federal fiscal year 2021.2 By taking a more holistic, integrated, and streamlined approach to managing uncompensated care, organizations can be better positioned to get reimbursed for some of that care and to stay compliant with uncompensated care reporting requirements.
Here is a description of a holistic approach to uncompensated care efforts, some of the main benefits of such an approach, and best practices for getting started.
What does a holistic approach look like?
In a holistic approach, organizations look at their uncompensated care efforts more globally. The key organizational departments charged with managing uncompensated care reporting – such as finance and reimbursement – work together, with open lines of communication.
In addition, the finance and reimbursement teams have access to the same essential data from across the healthcare network that serves as a single source of truth, streamlining overall uncompensated care efforts and contributing to more accurate reporting. A more integrated approach to managing uncompensated care creates an infinite loop of continuous process improvement.