Patients who struggle paying medical bills can apply for assistance. Qualifying patients are referred to state programs such as Medi-Cal, but when their forms are filled out incorrectly, the patient gets billed and that leads to collections. The Patient Financial Services team in Oakland had a 58 percent completion rate for financial aid forms. Shift changes led to a variety of note-taking styles and that led to incomplete forms. The unit-based team agreed to standardize note-taking, and a financial counselor was assigned to each in-need patient until the forms were completed. The team reached 98 percent completion and awarded $6.275 million in charity care.
Here's What Worked
- Standardizing note-taking styles across the team
- Assigning a financial counselor to each in-need patient
- Working with Admitting Department to identify patients who need assistance and provide counseling
What can your team do to reduce unneeded variation? And what can your team do to work with other teams to improve service?