Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. board chair Joaquin Torres disclosed to Saipan Tribune that funding constraints has delayed the implementation of the new revenue cycle management model that was identified to beef up the Commonwealth Health Center's collections.
It was in May this year when the model was conceptualized and adopted by the board following the termination of International Consulting Services' contract which was supposed to boost revenues at the public hospital.
Under the new revenue cycle management model, the corporation has to identify and hire a revenue cycle administrator who will directly oversee the functions of four important major sections: patient financial services, billings, collections, and medical records.
This administrator will directly report to the CEO and has direct link to the hospital's chief financial officer. To make this plan effective, 23 posts have to be filled.
Torres admitted that due to lack of budget, hiring for these positions have been stalled and the corporation is only relying on a few onboard personnel whom he described is “inadequate.”
“In order for us to collect money, we need people onboard to do the job. We need more billers and coders to make this model work. But without funding to support this [hiring], I don't think we can accomplish that goal [to increase collections],” he told Saipan Tribune, adding that the corporation had transferred a few staff from other units to help in the new department.
Corporation CEO Juan N. Babauta, in an early interview with Saipan Tribune, described the billings and collection department as the heart and soul of the hospital. He emphasized the need for the corporation to take this department “very seriously” because it is critically tied in every function, operation, and survival of the CHC.
He earlier said that it is the goal of the new model to improve the revenue management through proper pricing, timely data entry of billings, electronic submission of claims, and payment postings. The corporation targets to implement this new model as soon as it possible in recognizing the “crisis” at the public hospital.
CHC is declared in a state of emergency again due to the ongoing challenges in the hospital.