This week's 5 must-reads for hospital CFOs

Here are five articles published by Becker's Hospital Review this week that offer insight on Medicare audits, patient billing complaints, Medicare's voluntary bundled payment program and more.

1. 7 hospitals receive credit downgrades in past month
Seven hospitals and health systems received credit downgrades during the past month, according to a report from HFA Partners.

2. Medicare audits up 936% in last 5 years
Recovery audit contractors are harnessing the power of big data and analytics to dramatically grow their auditing capabilities.

3. 4 best practices for managing patient billing complaints
As patient satisfaction scores are increasingly linked to provider reimbursement, it's important hospitals resolve instances where patients report great clinical outcomes but negative experiences with billing.

4. BPCI hospitals drove down Medicare payments for lower extremity joint replacement by $1,166
In the first 21 months of CMS' Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative, participating hospitals lowered Medicare payments for lower extremity joint replacement episodes while maintaining quality, according to a study published in JAMA.

5. Survey: Hospitals saw 10% increase in self-pay dollars in past 5 years
With the rising popularity of high-deductible health plans, hospital and health system executives must find effective ways to communicate with patients about their financial responsibility and develop strategies to ensure proper payment. Many executives have made strides in these areas, but there is still room for improvement, according to a Healthcare Financial Management Association survey sponsored by Parallon.

More articles on healthcare finance:

Chinese billionaire ups stake in CHS for $31.9M
7 hospitals receive credit downgrades in past month
Erlanger reports net surplus, gives 3,700 employees bonuses


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