Referring Eligible Patients to Medi-Cal, Other Health Insurance Programs Could Increase Revenue at San Joaquin General, Report Finds
San Joaquin General Hospital in Stockton could collect an additional $350,000 annually by referring eligible patients to Medi-Cal, Medicare or similar programs, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers report commissioned by the county, the San Joaquin News Service/Lodi News-Sentinel reports. San Joaquin General officials hired the consulting firm to help address financial issues at the hospital.
The report, which consultants presented Tuesday to the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors, identified about $11.3 million in lost revenue and savings opportunities that could be attributed in part to inadequate billing and collection practices and how the hospital orders equipment. The report recommended that San Joaquin General:
- Refer bills for uninsured patients and Medi-Cal beneficiaries to government agencies and determine whether other patients are covered by health insurance, providing about $3.1 million annually in additional revenue;
- Implement a cash-acceleration program for hospital bills exceeding $2,500 that have been unpaid for more than 60 days, saving about $3.6 million over a five-month period;
- Join a group of three other hospitals and renegotiate contracts with large suppliers, saving as much as $144,544; and
- Allow patients to pay their bills at 11 hospital departments, or points of service, that currently do not offer the service, a change that could help increase collection amounts from about 1.2% at the hospital to the industry standard of 3% to 4%.