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Tuesday May 31, 2022  |  Luke Marinac

What Rural Hospitals Can Do About Denial Management Right Now

Rural hospitals are an indispensable part of our healthcare system.

Nearly 60 million Americans rely on small and rural healthcare facilities for their well-being. However, in recent years small-town hospitals have faced significant challenges. Many have been forced to offer limited services or close their doors forever.  According to the American Hospital Association, 59% of the decline in community hospitals between 2015 and 2019 were in rural areas.

Denial Management and Rural Providers

While factors such as workforce recruitment and reduced patient volumes represent just some of the more pressing challenges rural hospitals face, a lack of compensation related to denied claims remains a critical issue. A 2021 Chartis Group report found that 41 percent of these healthcare organizations operate on negative margins.

This means that business offices at rural hospitals are under more pressure than ever to reduce the amount of time accounts are overdue, ensure positive cash flow, recover lost revenue and identify the errors that cause denials. However, these hospitals often have fewer hands on deck and more limited access to the latest technology than larger facilities.

A Dedicated Partner in Denial Management

Rural hospitals need access to the resources and know-how that can help them curb operating costs, stick to a budget, and better manage rejected claims.

Here’s how MEDHOST can be a dedicated partner in denial management:

  • First, we’ll assign knowledgeable and experienced billers to specific insurance payors to familiarize them with payment requirements, delayed payment tactics, and root cause analysis.
  • Next, our Account Follow-Up team will notate all specific and consistent follow-up activities on each patient account within our enterprise system during the payment resolution process.
  • Finally, our Account Follow-Up team will continue working on outstanding account balances until they are either resolved to a zero balance or moved to patient responsibility.  Some of our follow-up tools include telephone calls to insurance companies, payor portal claim processing, e-faxing, letters and more.

Less Follow-Up, More Down Time

We know that downtime is essential. One of the drawbacks of traditional account follow-up and claims processing in small and midsized hospitals is that the work can grind to a halt when someone takes time off.

To ensure your staff gets an opportunity to recharge, our team will cross-train within your facility so that unexpected and expected leaves of absence won’t create an interruption of medical billing services.

A Transparent Denial Management Process

Having the knowledge in hand to prevent future claim denials requires visibility into best practices. Our denial analysis and claims management processes are totally transparent:

  • Any clinical denials that we find will be provided back to the hospital denial advisory board or a third party of your choice for review.
  • Our follow-up work is performed directly within the MEDHOST enterprise system. There is no extraction of denials data needed, and we provide real-time updates.

To learn more about how MEDHOST can help with denial management and account follow-up services, please reach out to us at or call 1.800.383.6278.

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