Forget the Billing Blues, Sing a Song of Success with OneTouch<p>Providers and their teams have never been under so much pressure to produce quality outcomes and provide excellent care while managing the bottom line and maintaining census.</p><h3>The Team Can Help</h3><p>Billing is always a challenge, but never more so with staffing shortages and other issues contributing to delays, gaps, and errors. The answer is a team of dedicated, knowledgeable partners to take the weight off providers’ shoulders. They get that and more with PharMerica’s OneTouch Billing Support. <br></p><p><img src="/Issues/Special-Features/PublishingImages/2021/1021/bs_Jennifer%20Yowler-2020.jpg" alt="Jennifer Yowler" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;170px;height&#58;213px;" />“Billing is complex. There are many different elements involved to ensure you have accurate statements going out to customers and that claims move through the system quickly and efficiently,” says Jennifer Yowler, chief financial officer of PharMerica. <br></p><p>“When the provider is working with different people or waiting days for call-backs, there are going to be areas where things are not done correctly. With OneTouch, by having a single person responsible for working with each customer and serving as their advocate, we develop a relationship that allows us to understand what the customer needs and work together to create more accurate billing that also lowers costs,” she says. <br></p><p>“We reduce our customers’ workloads, while cutting costs and eliminating claim rejections. At a time when they are watching every dollar, this is extremely important.”</p><h3>Customers Gain an Advocate</h3><p>This isn’t just dedicated customer service. This is white-glove customer experience. Clients don’t just get a personal contact, they get an advocate, a billing and census partner who knows their business and understands their specific needs, goals, concerns, and challenges.<br></p><p>“Their advocate knows the organization’s census and can recognize right away if something is off or doesn’t look quite right,” Yowler says. <br></p><p>“Our people learn all components of billing, and they can pull them all together and be true billing advocates. We also train them on customer service. We’ve invested significantly in training to ensure a full suite of services, all with the customer at the center.”<br></p><p>In the past, Yowler says, “Customers didn’t know who to call in the billing department if they had a question. By putting teams together that work with each customer, they now know who to call and can feel confident that they will get prompt attention from someone who knows them and their organization.” <br></p><p>In developing and refining OneTouch, PharMerica didn’t just guess or assume what their customers want and need. <br></p><p>“As we developed the program, we solicited feedback about how to make sure OneTouch would meet their needs and enhance the customer experience,” Yowler says “Their insights were very valuable in helping us launch a program that would improve their day-to-day functions and make things easier for them and better for their patients and their bottom line.”</p><h3>Driving Accuracy, Savings</h3><p>Working with the OneTouch program and their advocates, customers can feel confident that the appropriate payers are being billed promptly. As a result, payments come in more quickly and more accurately. At the same time, OneTouch team members proactively notify facilities of noncovered and high-dollar medications prior to dispensing. <br></p><p>In fact, OneTouch drives savings at all stages of the census and billing cycle. In addition to personalized customer care, seamless software and eMAR integration improve access to information, transparency, and accuracy. With centralized data, OneTouch also enables insights into recurring issues to help reduce high-cost drives and spend through recommended actions, such as engaging with prescribers and medications that are repeatedly denied. <br></p><p>In a study last year, 94 percent of long term care facilities identified billing efficiency and accuracy as important or very important. OneTouch checks all the boxes and adds the personal touch that not only enables peace of mind but creates partnerships with a common goal of quality care and business success. <br>If any billing concerns arise, they are speedily resolved—typically within 24 hours. Yowler notes, “To keep facilities informed of their efforts, advocates hold weekly calls about what’s in process and what’s been approved or rebilled.”</p><h3>Billing Excellence, Sweet Dreams</h3><p>Providers have a lot to deal with every day—COVID-19 and its aftermath, rebuilding census, connecting residents with their families, and addressing staffing shortages and hiring issues, among other tasks and responsibilities.<br></p><p>“Providers have more challenges than we can imagine,” Yowler says. “One thing we can do is reduce the time they need to manage billing and address problems that arise. If we can reduce their expenses and delays in payment and streamline processes that take burdens off their shoulders, they can focus on resident care and have fewer worries when they turn in at night.” ​</p><p><br></p><p style="text-align&#58;center;"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/logos/PharMerica.jpg" alt="" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;250px;height&#58;51px;" /><br></p>2021-10-01T04:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Issues/Special-Features/PublishingImages/2021/1021/JenniferYowler.jpg" width="592" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />Caregiving;FinanceProviders and their teams have never been under so much pressure to produce quality outcomes and provide excellent care while managing the bottom line and maintaining census.
AHCA, NCAL Letter to HHS Requests Immediate Release of Funds<p>​​COVID-19 and the recent explosion of the Delta variant continue to impact thousands of skilled nursing and assisted living facilities across the country, the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living told Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra in a <a href="http&#58;//links.ahca.org/u/click?_t=3abc5280edfa42b5905fbea7c0fff5c2&amp;_m=4f26a3f3edf3408d82bdda9bb7474188&amp;_e=96DTAwZbnOWclPYA7fpbRyOzJzJQ-_0S3tLsZRIjUcodQ8YNatF0Fm_GNT-S0DsYr3i4HaSCkxZSFgVw30cGkGCC8Hsy9qz8d4d0Dy0eSyKP12NEXoTCmxyRcD_pwdZzwiH-YEvli-M1Hj3msLegkFB_Nw5BBRaXsrPMs8hrH4hCopNbAaGqqGr5r1MU2kg_DgqPx5VnljTAzds_f2as5_khuQwnWROLPmD4lN2XA8qwmGsmxwoP4LMS-XBM8rNhp5mEbm6NpnnfgvFWqjbXJp7cKUT_Gp8Ndx8gERloEINXUUY70nwBRhw9DVGt2fGvcbco_HgiMTngph0DSWYmZw7o-yPKWOCVq5RIIdoTzdsZ7QM-6ItyIHXPIrAUlrc2" target="_blank">letter</a> this week. The association is requesting that remaining resources in the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) be released immediately to health care providers, including long term care facilities.&#160;<br></p><p>In 2020, nursing homes received $13 billion of the $178 billion of the PRF, which for many providers made the difference between keeping their doors open or shutting them for good, AHCA/NCAL said. Currently, approximately $44 billion remains in the fund; however, nothing has been distributed in 2021. In the face of mounting new cases due to Delta, the association urged the administration to prioritize its residents and frontline health care workers before the situation gets worse.&#160;</p><p>During the pandemic, nursing homes have faced increased expenses for personal protective equipment (PPE), testing, and additional staffing to ensure residents and caregivers remain protected from COVID-19. In 2020, providers spent <a href="http&#58;//links.ahca.org/u/click?_t=3abc5280edfa42b5905fbea7c0fff5c2&amp;_m=4f26a3f3edf3408d82bdda9bb7474188&amp;_e=96DTAwZbnOWclPYA7fpbR_tBiRCgH1c4rEjVyAb-Iczo62zPmima9ZOGzRl6M7swFu_UdDr5dV1-DzKRHJWqyITYUfom481v9njlp07fEeeyBqYITUhg4xG7PBADCzfERD_GmwDOe70UVyb6Jg1x3EC_ZXVGILsEY3K_sm-y_h8KEZpvsCV8STP8_rdPLisUCT5oMlmG-URJhp4-wyf16YiS0TLicFnx7f0AmFQfZz91yjIapCY8S4pK7SfeN0eOf-XSKz7SgLJKH6mbTsYkbzKGaby6L6Qqw-dOtgoBfuHamRot2UyrmV2wPZQLrCE-2_EmzLZ-EhHgEiRCdtt99K2tuiQ6NBlUqyAnXwsHbQR-SWsFnbdf4SC7J4_3y95XD9EArJz1kbyw88oYPcWpKA%3D%3D" target="_blank">$30 billion</a> on PPE and staffing alone. But as the pandemic continues, these costs will remain constant, the association said. By the end of 2021, providers are projected to spend $60 billion on pandemic-related costs in the span of two years.&#160;</p><p>These additional costs are causing a major strain on facilities that have long struggled to break even. Medicaid—the primary payer for nursing homes residents—has been historically underfunded. The amount that providers are reimbursed only covers between 70 and 80 percent of the total cost of care, AHCA/NCAL said. This chronic gap in funding has left many providers operating on shoestring budgets year after year.&#160;</p><p>Providers across the country are seeking to hire more staff, but many lack the financial resources to offer competitive wages. In a recent AHCA/NCAL survey, 81 percent of nursing home providers and 75 percent of assisted living communities said higher Medicaid reimbursement to offer staff better pay and benefits would help improve their ability to recruit and retain staff members.</p><p>In addition to bolstering the long term care workforce, proper financial support will help prevent widespread closures. AHCA/NCAL estimates that <a href="http&#58;//links.ahca.org/u/click?_t=3abc5280edfa42b5905fbea7c0fff5c2&amp;_m=4f26a3f3edf3408d82bdda9bb7474188&amp;_e=96DTAwZbnOWclPYA7fpbR_tBiRCgH1c4rEjVyAb-Iczo62zPmima9ZOGzRl6M7swFu_UdDr5dV1-DzKRHJWqyITYUfom481v9njlp07fEeeyBqYITUhg4xG7PBADCzfERD_GmwDOe70UVyb6Jg1x3EC_ZXVGILsEY3K_sm-y_h9Ekx1oSO25ygu7qcyBQquJsmGvBJ-KwjOsfnT4fCbCd2A5FpBkxiCNozzpfK3vF3H4B5s1Y6Dqjw_BgtbUkQzOR9thaRWj36XMrWnyzYm4wyQNpWRhkbG8tDsGXCY8psCUQOMNWAfj1Q12USVxDT1qEl7YoX-KaOnhz3BJkkursy4329eo18S01GG6_IWfaXAqMpRiZDak6bNtKit0Wb2-wBA1nynCpTsLxU8UpCLW0w%3D%3D" target="_blank">nearly 2,000</a> nursing homes could permanently close their doors over a two-year period (2020-2021).</p><p>In the letter, AHCA/NCAL President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Parkinson said, “The staff and residents in skilled nursing facilities around the country desperately need ongoing support in facilities most affected by the virus. Ensuring that this funding is delivered to long term care providers immediately is critical to our primary role of caring for and protecting our nation's seniors and most vulnerable.&quot;<br></p><p>​</p>2021-08-11T04:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Articles/PublishingImages/740%20x%20740/0820_News1.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />COVID-19;FinanceJoanne EricksonExtra costs from COVID are causing a major strain on facilities that have long struggled to break even.
A Look at Occupancy and What Lies AheadThe second part of <em>Provider’s</em> March cover series on the financial outlook for long term and post-acute care providers features the thoughts of Beth Burnham Mace, chief economist and director of outreach at the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing &amp; Care (NIC). <a href="https&#58;//pagepro.mydigitalpublication.com/publication/?m=63330&amp;i=695596&amp;p=10" target="_blank">Read more.​</a>2021-03-01T05:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Issues/2021/March/PublishingImages/Occupancy.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />FinancePatrick Connole​The second part on the financial outlook for long term and post-acute care providers features the thoughts of Beth Burnham Mace, chief economist and director of outreach at NIC.
Leaders Finesse Policies Aimed at Making Recovery PossibleIn the third part of a series on the prospects for financial recovery in the long term and post-acute care (LT/PAC) profession, Provider discussed new policies meant to ease the pressure on providers’ loan repayments with Erik Howard, executive managing director for healthcare finance&#160;at Capital Funding&#160;Group (CFG).​ <a target="_blank" href="https&#58;//pagepro.mydigitalpublication.com/publication/?m=63330&amp;i=695596&amp;p=16">Read more.</a><br><p></p>2021-03-01T05:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Issues/2021/March/PublishingImages/Policies.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />FinancePatrick Connole​In the third part of a series on the prospects for financial recovery in the LT/PAC profession, Provider discussed new policies meant to ease the pressure on providers’ loan repayments with CFG.