Submitted on Mon, 2014-12-22
By Nar Ramkissoon, MPH

Your Peers Most Read Blogs of 2014

Your Peers Most Read Blogs of 2014

As a public health professional, you are passionate about supporting and providing services to your community. That is why we have put together our top 10 blogs of the year. These blogs provide news, knowledge, and best practices to help public health departments continue their mission while facing ever-shrinking funding and resources.


#1)  The ACA Deadline has Passed. What's Next for Local Health?

When will local health departments start to see the complete effects of Obamacare?

The Affordable Care Act open enrollment deadline for 2014 has passed, and the new program looks like it’s had a pretty large impact on the country’s uninsured. What’s not clear however is the effect of the ACA on local health departments and community health centers in both the short and long-term. Read Blog


#2)  Houston HHS Interview: Communication is the Most Critical Part of Ebola Response for Local Health Departments

Learn about the most important parts of the Ebola response for public health departments from Kirstin Short, Bureau Chief, Public Health Preparedness at Houston Department of Health and Human Services.

Since local health departments play an integral role to isolating the impact of Ebola, it’s important for each one to be prepared for a case in their community. The Ebola virus is wreaking havoc throughout Africa and recently made its way onto American soil. The virus has infected more than 8,000 people in Western Africa so far this year, with a mortality rate of roughly 50%. Read Blog


#3)  Local Health Departments Remain the Essential Provider of Vaccinations

Despite competition from private physicians and pharmacies, local health departments remain the foundation of immunizations in every community.

Local health departments are seeing their already vital immunization programs growing as private physicians quickly cut vaccinations from their services. Read Blog


#4)  The Ebola Virus and Local Health Departments

The Ebola virus is here and local health departments will play a key role in isolating ins impact.

Western Africa is currently in the midst of the largest Ebola virus outbreak in history, and the U.S. received its first confirmed diagnosis of Ebola on our soil. More than 3,000 people have died already and CDC models estimate that as many as 1.4 million people could be infected by the end of January. Local health departments, despite ongoing funding cuts, need to be ready to play a key role in effectively stopping the spread of Ebola throughout the U.S. Read Blog


#5)  How to Build the Perfect Public Health Billing Department

In order to maximize reimbursements from payers and create sustainable revenue, these are the components to perfect your local health department's billing program.

The goal of the perfect public health billing department should be to maximize sustainable revenue and reimbursements from payers by billing for as many immunizations and services provided as possible at the highest allowable reimbursement rate. If you aren’t building towards the goal of having a perfect public health billing department, you’re leaving a valuable funding source untapped, shortchanging your department, and in turn, your community. Read Blog


#6)  What the New ICD-10 Deadline Means for Local Health

Use the latest ICD-10 delay to refine and relaunch your implementation strategy.

On March 31st, the Senate voted on a line item hidden away in a Medicare bill that pushed back the deadline for ICD-10 implementation for the fourth time, this time to at least October of 2015. The move surprised many and elicited a wide spectrum of reactions from healthcare organizations of all types. Read Blog


#7)  Medical Billing Program Success Stories from Public Health

How four local health departments met funding challenges with creative billing programs for services they already provide.

Within the first six months of implementing a billing program, a county health department in California had seen its revenue grow by a factor of ten. Lucky for them too, as county budget cuts enacted a few months into their billing program would have forced the department to scale back its services or even shut its doors had the program not been in place. The biggest hurdle in starting the billing program was contracting with insurance companies. Read Blog


#8)  3 Reasons Why a Local Health Department's Insurance Claims May be Denied

Most claims are denied due to provider or patient error and with a few quick fixes, you can resubmit those claims and make sure the same mistakes are never made again.

The Affordable Care Act has made it easier for people to get insurance, and in turn, made it possible for local health departments to submit more reimbursable claims. As your local health department begins to expand its billing program, you may notice an increase in claims being denied by insurance companies. Don’t give up on that claim just yet. Most claims are denied due to provider or patient error. With a few quick fixes, you can resubmit those claims and make sure the same mistakes are never made again. Read Blog


#9)  How to Maximize Revenue with Your Fee Schedule

Uninsured patients are now able to gain private insurance coverage with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), allowing local health departments to generate revenue from a new group of patients.

Whether a health department decides to compete with private practices or not, finding a new revenue source is critical as it closes the gap in budget cuts, keeping existing programs open and current staff on board. Read Blog


#10)  3 Key Steps to Setting Up a Hardship Policy

Every public health billing department should take a close look at their fee schedules to make sure they are collecting the maximum amount of revenue.

The best way to address this is to create a hardship policy with a sliding fee schedule. The sliding schedule is a set of discounts applied to the health department’s fee schedule. The discounted fee schedule is up to the individual health department but must be in writing, be a uniform policy, and non-discriminatory. Read Blog

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