Missouri Medicaid Expansion: More Low-Income Patients Now Qualify for Coverage
Posted on Wednesday, September 1, 2021
The Missouri Supreme Court ruled an order in July of 2021 instructing the state to proceed with Medicaid expansion. This will improve healthcare access in Missouri as up to 275,000 low-income residents are expected to gain eligibility.
Missouri Medicaid expansion will help more low-income patients at your Missouri hospital gain health coverage.
What Does Missouri Medicaid Expansion Mean for Your Missouri Hospital?
More of your low-income patients will now qualify for health coverage through Missouri Medicaid. Having staff available to screen your patients for eligibility while in house will increase the number of patients who apply and are ultimately approved.
Those who are newly eligible under Missouri Medicaid expansion may now submit their applications, although the state expects to start processing them after October 1, 2021.
While these applications may not be processed until October, it is in your patients’ (and your hospital’s) best interest that eligible patients begin enrolling now. According to the Governor’s Office, “Qualifying health care costs that are incurred by eligible Missourians between the time they apply and when DSS is able to verify their eligibility may be reimbursed at a later date.”
Helping Your Patients Gain Health Coverage Under Missouri Medicaid Expansion
EligibilityAdvocates’ Patient Advocates can screen your patients on site and assist them with the Medicaid application process. We also educate patients on their financial responsibilities and new health coverage. All of our services are free to patients as we are contracted at a performance-based rate with each healthcare facility.
Providing our service to your patients will help ensure that eligible patients are aware that they may qualify for Medicaid and that their applications are completed fully and correctly. Additionally, our Patient Advocates can aid patients in applying for other financial assistance programs that could help cover the cost of their medical expenses and thereby lower your uncompensated care.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your eligible patients gain health coverage under Missouri Medicaid expansion.
What if I have already paid the bill I received for COVID-19 services?
You may be entitled to a refund if your provider billed HRSA as well. First, check if the bill lists HRSA reimbursement for the COVID-19 services. Also, contact the provider/healthcare facility who billed you to discuss a possible refund.2
You may be responsible for payment if the care was not eligible for HRSA reimbursement or the provider did not submit the claim to HRSA. However, at this time, any provider administering COVID-19 vaccines cannot charge you for the vaccine or administration of the vaccine.2
Does immigration status affect eligibility for free COVID-19 services?
No; all uninsured patients are eligible for free COVID-19 services regardless of immigration status.1
Will my immigration status be reported to an immigration agency if I receive free COVID-19 services?
According to HRSA, “Testing, treatment or vaccinations paid for by the federal government will not affect anyone’s immigration status or be shared with immigration agencies.”1
Do I need a Social Security Number or government ID to obtain free COVID-19 services?
No; although you may be asked for this information by the healthcare facility or pharmacy, you can still receive free COVID-19 testing, treatment, and/or vaccination if you unable to provide it.1
EligibilityAdvocates: Helping Uninsured Patients
EligibilityAdvocates assists uninsured patients with finding health coverage and/or applying for other programs to help cover their medical costs. Our services are free to patients.
What Does Medicaid Expansion Mean for Indian Health Service Facilities, American Indians, & Alaska Natives?
Posted on Thursday, July 8, 2021
Medicaid expansion can improve healthcare access for the American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) community in many ways, including by providing health coverage to a larger portion of the population and by increasing third-party revenue for Indian Health Service (IHS) facilities.
Medicaid expansion can improve healthcare access for AI/AN people and increase third-party revenue for IHS facilities.
Expanding Health Coverage for AI/AN People
As of 2019, an estimated 19.1% of American Indian and Alaska Native people in the U.S. were uninsured.1
Inadequate health coverage is a significant barrier to healthcare access and often causes patients to delay or avoid medical care altogether.
In states that expand Medicaid, more people qualify for Medicaid based on income; so, more members of the AI/AN community become eligible for Medicaid coverage and may no longer be uninsured. This helps remove a major obstacle to healthcare access and enables many AI/AN people to obtain care from other providers in addition to their IHS facility.
Increasing Third-Party Revenue for IHS Facilities
After states were given the option to expand their Medicaid programs beginning in 2014, third-party collections for federally operated IHS facilities increased by 51% from 2013 to 2018.2
During that same timeframe, the percentage of patients at these facilities who reported having health insurance increased by an average of 14 percent, with facilities located in states that expanded Medicaid seeing the biggest increases.2
An increase in third-party revenue in the form of payments from patients’ Medicaid and private health insurance coverage made it possible for IHS facilities to expand their on-site services and lower the need for patients to use the Purchased/Referred Care (PRC) program, while also allowing for an extension in the complexity of services delivered off-site through PRC.2
If your IHS facility is in a state that is or will be expanding Medicaid, you can also expect a boost in third-party revenue as a result. This money can be used toward adding more providers and specialty services, purchasing medical equipment, facility maintenance, and more, all of which will greatly enhance the quality and accessibility of care for your AI/AN community.
Best Practices for Optimizing Self-Pay Conversions & Third-Party Revenue
Helping patients apply for Medicaid – Eligibility professionals have the resources and expertise to help patients correctly and more efficiently complete their Medicaid applications.
Screening patients before discharge –Patients may not realize they qualify for Medicaid, and those who are screened for eligibility and engaged before they leave your facility will be much more likely to follow through with the Medicaid application process.
Meeting with patients one-on-one and in person – Face-to-face and personalized engagement with patients results in higher self-pay conversion rates than attempts to assist patients via email and phone alone.
EligibilityAdvocates: Helping IHS Facilities Maximize the Benefits of Medicaid Expansion
Our Patient Advocates work on site to help patients enroll in Medicaid and other health plans or financial assistance programs. By finding alternative funding sources for patients’ medical costs and helping them apply, we can increase your third-party revenue and improve patients’ access to care.
Our services are free to patients and provide a guaranteed ROI for our clients thanks to our performance-based pricing model. We are only paid once we’ve successfully helped you collect reimbursement.
EligibilityAdvocates delivers more self-pay conversions through one-on-one interaction with patients, a pre-discharge screening rate of 90 percent, expanded on-site hours and home visits, advanced technology and screening software, and our expertly trained, compassionate staff who are changing patients’ lives every day.
Contact us to learn more about how we can increase Medicaid enrollment at your IHS facility and help you maximize the benefits of Medicaid expansion.
2GAO (United States Government Accountability Office). “GAO-19-612 Highlights, Indian Health Service: Facilities Reported Expanding Services Following Increases in Health Insurance Coverage and Collections.” (2019). Retrieved from https://www.gao.gov/assets/gao-19-612-highlights.pdf
EligibilityAdvocates Sets the New Standard in Patient Eligibility
Posted on Tuesday, June 1, 2021
At EligibilityAdvocates, we are redefining patient eligibility and enrollment. Our Patient Advocates are raising the bar with higher performance standards, increased patient engagement, and (above all) a heartfelt commitment to patients, hospitals, and their communities.
Read on to learn how we go above and beyond to help our clients and their patients!
On-Site Patient Advocates – Many other patient eligibility companies assist patients via email and phone or transitioned to conducting business remotely this past year. But even during the height of the pandemic, our Patient Advocates met in person (including home visits) with patients to help them obtain health coverage and/or financial assistance and other benefits.
We implemented extensive safety precautions to make this possible to ensure our clients’ patients were able to access the eligibility services they needed – and at a time when many were especially in need of this help. Our face-to-face interactions with patients build trust and result in higher conversion rates.
Expanded Coverage Hours – Patients need help outside of the typical Monday through Friday, “9 to 5” workday, yet most other patient eligibility and enrollment services operate within that timeframe. Our Patient Advocates are available on site, including in the Emergency Department, to help patients at a minimum of 12 hours/day, 6 days/week – and up to 24 hours/day, 7 days/week (based on peak analysis).
Screening Rate of 90 Percent – EligibilityAdvocates screens 90% of our clients’ uninsured patients BEFORE discharge. Patients who are screened and engaged before they leave the hospital are much more likely to follow through with the benefit application process.
We further increase patient engagement through bedside screening, home visits, and in-field patient advocacy. We then follow up with patients through their preferred communication method (e.g., text, email, letter) to keep them engaged as well.
Community Impact & Outreach – Our motto is, “Impacting Communities, One Patient at a Time.” Our Patient Advocates are passionate about making a difference in the lives of patients and their communities. This means they go the extra mile to assist patients beyond their medical bills, in any way they can.
Additionally, we volunteer our services at community health fairs where we enroll residents in Medicaid or Marketplace insurance plans.
We also create job opportunities; our Patient Advocates are hired locally, expertly trained, and genuinely invested in the well-being of their own community.
Travel Assistance – When patients have no other mode of transportation, we can arrange for travel assistance so that they can meet in person with one of our Patient Advocates or attend a hearing at the Medicaid or Disability Office. This is provided at no cost to the patients or our clients.
All Accounts Worked – Many patient eligibility organizations focus only on the easier or high-balance cases. At EligibilityAdvocates, we work EVERY account across all areas (e.g., inpatient, outpatient, ED) and unlinked accounts are closed within 30 days. We make this commitment to pursuing the tough claims for our clients because we care about each patient and understand the impact this effort will make on your relationship with them.
Out-of-State Medicaid Services – One type of complicated claim which is frequently written off is the out-of-state Medicaid account. We can handle all aspects of out-of-state Medicaid enrollment, billing, and follow-up so that our clients don’t miss out on this substantial form of reimbursement. Our out-of-state Medicaid team has experience in all 50 states’ Medicaid programs.
Our proprietary software, AdvocatorAI, is a comprehensive patient screening tool that finds existing coverage in real time and identifies alternative funding sources for patients’ medical bills while supporting patient advocacy through financial counseling and assistance. AdvocatorAI streamlines the benefit application process by producing application forms electronically and auto-populating them with patient data.
EligibilityAdvocates – New Patient Eligibility Service Powered by HealthWare Systems
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 4, 2021
Elgin, IL: HealthWare Systems has partnered with a new company, EligibilityAdvocates, which offers patient eligibility and out-of-state Medicaid billing services. The new organization is powered by HealthWare Systems’ revenue cycle technology solutions.
EligibilityAdvocates’ on-site patient eligibility and enrollment service helps self-pay and uninsured patients find and obtain health coverage and/or financial assistance. On-site patient advocates and technology facilitate real-time coverage detection, eligible program screening, and timely account appropriation.
EligibilityAdvocates provides expanded coverage hours and ED staffing and its patient advocates utilize tablets/laptops equipped with the company’s proprietary software AdvocatorAI, a comprehensive screening tool that identifies existing coverage or alternative funding sources for patients’ medical bills while supporting patient advocacy through financial counseling and assistance.
The new company also offers an off-site out-of-state Medicaid service that operates as a performance-based extension of its clients’ revenue cycle teams. EligibilityAdvocates is experienced in all 50 states’ Medicaid programs and handles all aspects of out-of-state Medicaid enrollment, billing, and follow-up so that hospitals don’t miss out on this substantial form of reimbursement.
EligibilityAdvocates reduces health organizations’ uncompensated care and account cycle time, increases self-pay conversions, and provides transparency of account status at all times through customizable dashboards, reports, and alerts.
“HealthWare Systems has always believed in creating patient-first technology and developing solutions that improve the financial outlook for all stakeholders in a health system – including patients, providers, healthcare facilities, and the entire community,” stated Steve Gruner, CEO and Founder of HealthWare Systems. “EligibilityAdvocates has created the perfect opportunity to leverage the power of our ActiveWARE products to drastically reduce patients’ out-of-pocket costs and hospitals’ uncompensated care.”
“I am proud of the EligibilityAdvocates team who have already proven their ability to rise above unprecedented challenges during the pandemic as well as their selfless dedication to patient support, especially during this time when patients and their families need it most,” said Gruner.
Jeff Woody, Chief Revenue Officer at EligibilityAdvocates, agrees and said he looks forward to sharing the inspiring stories of how EligibilityAdvocates’ patient advocates go above and beyond for those they serve:
“At EligibilityAdvocates, our motto is ‘Impacting Communities, One Patient at a Time.’ Our patient advocates are truly committed to making a difference in the life of each patient they assist, and they are able to maximize their patient advocacy with the help of HealthWare’s state-of-the-art technology that allows them to more accurately and efficiently serve patients and deliver results.”
To learn more about the patient eligibility service and out-of-state Medicaid billing company, visit www.eligibilityadvocates.com where you will find further details about EligibilityAdvocates’ services, patient resources, and an educational blog covering patient advocacy and out-of-state Medicaid issues.
About HealthWare Systems:
HealthWare Systems is a leading provider of fully integrated, customizable workflow solutions and Revenue Cycle Management software. We specialize in applying robotic process automation (RPA) to healthcare processes to improve both the patient experience and the revenue cycle. Our ActiveWARE suite of products manages pre-arrival, financial assistance, early out, collections, denial management, claims follow-up, and more, and is proven to maximize productivity and profitability so that healthcare teams have more time and resources to spend on quality care.
EligibilityAdvocates’ patient eligibility and enrollment service utilizes technology proficiencies to enable our patient advocates to optimize one-on-one interaction with self-pay/uninsured patients to reduce uncompensated care. We provide real-time coverage verification, a comprehensive screening tool (AdvocatorAI), and expanded on-site coverage hours. We also offer an experienced off-site team to handle your out-of-state Medicaid enrollment, billing, and follow-up. Our complementary goals of promoting patient advocacy and improving your revenue cycle go hand-in-hand as we strive to create a healthier financial environment for your entire community.
A successful strategy for increasing patient collections must be proactive.
Unfortunately, many patient collection efforts are hindered by reactive methods (e.g., lack of price transparency or out-of-pocket estimates, hard-to-decipher medical bills) that result in uncertainty, stress, and confusion for patients.
When patients are confused about what they owe and why they owe it, they often delay making payments or do not pay their bill at all. Additionally, those with high or unexpected medical bills are more likely to call the hospital’s billing office with questions or complaints. And if they feel they’ve had a poor experience with the billing department, they are less likely to pay their bill in full or in a timely manner.
A Proactive Plan for Increasing Patient Collections
A proactive approach involves two key elements: patient communication and financial education. EligibilityAdvocates employs both in the services we offer.
EligibilityAdvocates’ on-site patient eligibility service increases self-pay conversions and improves patient collections through better patient engagement. Our Patient Advocates meet with patients one-on-one and in-person to assess and help them understand financial assistance opportunities and their options, all while they are still at your facility and before they are billed.
Equipped with mobile screening technology, our Patient Advocates are also able to meet with patients at home, in the field, or at bedside. We also offer Emergency Department staffing and expanded hours compared to most patient eligibility and enrollment services. We have on-site Patient Advocates available at a minimum of 12 hours/day, 6 days/week, helping to ensure your patients find support when they need it.
Furthermore, we want to improve the patient experience with consistent communication which includes follow up with email, SMS text, and phone calls. Rather than waiting for (potentially upset) patients to call you, we reach out to them before they receive a complex bill that leads to anger, frustration, or bad debt for your organization.
Our Patient Advocates provide financial education to patients by counseling them on the financial aspects of their healthcare and their options for funding it. This includes informing them of government and/or charitable programs for which they may qualify, aiding them in the application process for health coverage and/or financial assistance, and helping them understand their health benefits and patient responsibility.
In addition, our Patient Advocates assist patients with resolving their patient accounts (for example, by collecting their ER co-pay and/or any prior balances, or by setting up a patient payment plan). Our pre-arrival workflow solution can also estimate patients’ out-of-pocket costs in order to prepare them for their financial responsibility.
A proactive approach to increasing patient collections involves two key elements: patient communication and financial education.
Increasing Patient Collections with EligibilityAdvocates
EligibilityAdvocates’ services can eliminate patients’ out-of-pocket costs or leave them with a reduced and more manageable portion of their bill to pay. Plus, patients who understand their health benefits and financial options, medical bills, and patient responsibility are much more likely to make their payments.
Proactive patient communication and financial education will lead to greater and faster reimbursement from patients – and improve patient loyalty as well!
An on-site patient eligibility service gives your patients the opportunity to meet face-to-face with an experienced Patient Advocate who can provide personalized education and empower your patients to navigate the financial complexities of their healthcare. And all our services are free to the patient as we are contracted at a performance-based rate with each healthcare facility.
Contact us today to learn more about our proactive approach to increasing patient collections.
Updated Friday, August 28, 2020: The deadline to apply for Phase 2 General Distribution Funding has been extended to September 13, 2020.
Providers still have time to apply for aid through the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund. Below you’ll find important information about this program that can help providers recover revenue lost to the COVID-19 crisis and help uninsured patients avoid unexpected medical bills related to coronavirus testing and treatment.
Information for Providers
The federal government has allocated $175 billion to the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) to be distributed to qualified health care service and support providers for:
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act appropriated $100 billion, and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (PPPHCEA) appropriated $75 billion, to this program. The program is administered by UnitedHealth Group through a contract with the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA).
Payments from the Provider Relief Fund do not need to be repaid by providers who comply with the program’s terms and conditions.
Information for Uninsured Patients
According to HHS.gov: “Providers who participate in and are reimbursed from the HRSA COVID-19 Uninsured Program are not allowed to “balance bill” individuals who do not have health care coverage (uninsured).”
If you are an uninsured patient and you receive a bill for COVID-19 testing and/or treatment services which shows that a portion of the bill was paid for by the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), you should contact your healthcare provider as you may not be responsible for the balance.
However, if your provider did not participate in the HRSA COVID-19 Uninsured Program or the care you received was not eligible for reimbursement from the program’s funds, you may be responsible for payment.
Applying for Reimbursement Through the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund
UPDATE: PROVIDERS – The deadline to apply for Phase 2 General Distribution Funding has been extended to September 13, 2020 to apply for Phase 2 General Distribution funding from the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund.
The deadline to apply for Phase 2 General Distribution funding has been extended to September 13, 2020. Providers should check the HHS.gov website for the latest updates on deadlines and requirements.
Key conditions for reimbursement from the Provider Relief Fund include:
Qualifying health costs and services such as COVID-19 testing, office visits, telehealth, non-emergency transportation, and more, with dates of service/admittance on or after February 4, 2020, are eligible for reimbursement.
Claims cannot be repealed or reprocessed after submission.
To submit claims electronically, providers need a clearinghouse or similar relationship.
Providers must attest that the information submitted is correct (billing companies/revenue cycle vendors can attest to the accuracy of the information for the provider).
An on-site patient eligibility service can significantly improve patient experiences, increase self-pay conversions, and reduce account cycle time. For the best results, patient eligibility services should be performance-based and you should choose a vendor who can provide both on-site patient advocates andcutting-edge technology.
Here are just a few reasons to outsource patient eligibility services:
Outsource patient eligibility to maximize patient advocacy and reimbursement.
Establish a Culture of Patient Advocacy
Show your patients and everyone who belongs to your organization that your facility values and is committed to patient advocacy. The presence of a patient eligibility and enrollment service, on site and at no cost to patients, will do just that.
However, the help that an internal eligibility team can provide is often inhibited by their limited hours. Most facilities’ eligibility employees work a typical 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM schedule, whereas EligibilityAdvocates’ outsourced services are available on site, including in the Emergency Department, at a minimum of 12 hours a day and 6 days a week (and up to 24 hours/day, 7 days/week – based on peak analysis). This significantly extends patients’ access to support.
The more support you offer your patients, the bigger impact you can make on your entire community’s economic outlook. Our patient eligibility services help patients and healthcare facilities financially; plus, we create job opportunities because we hire patient advocates from your local community to fill all our on-site positions.
Maximize Patient Advocacy & Reimbursement with a Team of Experts
When you outsource patient eligibility and enrollment, you can ensure your patients are served by patient advocates who specialize in this service and all the rules and regulations that impact it.
State and federal laws, as well as individual health plan and financial assistance program requirements, change regularly. And waivers are often enacted when national emergencies like the COVID-19 crisis occur.
EligibilityAdvocates monitors all policies and guidelines that determine whether a patient will qualify for assistance, what the patient must do to apply, and how your reimbursement will be affected. You and your patients don’t have to keep track of all these moving parts or risk missing a detail that results in a denied application or claim.
In addition to patient advocates’ extensive knowledge and compassion, an outsourced patient eligibility service can bring innovative technology to the table as well.
At EligibilityAdvocates, we equip our patient advocates with technology that enables mobile patient screening, such as at bedside or in the field. This includes convertible laptops/tablets, HL7 for real-time notes, electronic forms automation software, data encryption in transit and at rest, intermediate saves of information, and photo capture for documentation of driver’s licenses, insurance cards, etc.
We also supply our clients with customized dashboards and reports that deliver near-real-time transparency and alerts. Plus, our pre-arrival workflow solution streamlines financial clearance and automates many tasks for Patient Access.
All our solutions are HIPAA-compliant and will adhere to your organization’s specific procedures and compliance standards.
Reduce Uncompensated Care and Improve Your Revenue Cycle
Partnering with a patient eligibility and enrollment service provider will reduce your write-offs and A/R days. When patients obtain health coverage and/or financial assistance, you get reimbursed at higher rates. And, the face-to-face meetings between patients and patient advocates result in higher conversion rates, increased point-of-service payments, and the establishment of patient payment plans.
When you choose EligibilityAdvocates, we will pursue every possible source of funding for each patient account – so your organization will always be the “payer of last resort.”
You’ll also improve your revenue cycle with the benefits of our pre-arrival workflow solution, which prevents integrity issues and errors that would otherwise cause payment delays, denials, underpayments, and rework.
Experience a Greater Return on Investment
Your ROI will be much higher when you outsource patient eligibility services in comparison to managing this work internally.
Costs accrued by in-house staff include payroll and benefits, hiring and (ongoing) training expenses, office space, and equipment (phones, computers, printers, desks, etc.). You’ll need to allocate money, time, and resources to these employees whether their performance earns it or not.
In contrast, EligibilityAdvocates offers contingent fee pricing, so you’ll only pay us a percentage of the reimbursement we collect, and you won’t have to worry about any of the typical labor costs an internal team would necessitate.
Keep Your Focus on Patient Care: Outsource Patient Eligibility Services
EligibilityAdvocates can handle all aspects of patient eligibility and enrollment for you so that your teams can devote their time and resources to providing quality patient care.
Contact us to learn more about how we can lower or eliminate your patients’ out-of-pocket costs and improve your revenue cycle.
Strengthen the financial situation of all stakeholders in your organization – outsource patient eligibility services to EligibilityAdvocates today.