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Hospital revenue cycle management and payer mix: do Medicare and Medicaid undermine hospitals' ability to generate and collect patient care revenue?

Authors
  • Rauscher, Simone
  • Wheeler, John R C
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of health care finance
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2010
Volume
37
Issue
2
Pages
81–96
Identifiers
PMID: 21294440
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The continuing efforts of government payers to contain hospital costs have raised concerns among hospital managers that serving publicly insured patients may undermine their ability to manage the revenue cycle successfully. This study uses financial information from two sources-Medicare cost reports for all US hospitals for 2002 to 2007 and audited financial statements for all bond-issuing, not-for-profit hospitals for 2000 to 2006 to examine the relationship between hospitals' shares of Medicare and Medicaid patients and the amount of patient care revenue they generate as well as the speed with which they collect their revenue. Hospital-level fixed effects regression analysis finds that hospitals with higher Medicare and Medicaid payer mix collect somewhat higher average patient care revenues than hospitals with more privately insured and self-pay patients. Hospitals with more Medicare patients also collect on this revenue faster; serving more Medicaid patients is not associated with the speed of patient revenue collection. For hospital managers, these findings may represent good news. They suggest that, despite increases in the number of publicly insured patients served, managers have frequently been able to generate adequate amounts of patient revenue and collect it in a timely fashion.

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