How One Public Health Department Increased Funding through Mass Vax Events
Community health centers have been key in our nation’s ability to fight COVID-19. As of February 2022, they’d administered more than 19 million vaccinations, in spite of ample challenges around staff exhaustion, trauma and COVID infections.
One public health department fought on the front lines as valiantly as any, standing up mass vaccination sites to provide free vaccines across its metropolitan health district.
At each site, health department staff served hundreds of patients, logging their information, tracking vaccine doses, ensuring accurate data was fed to the state’s immunization registry, and submitting claims information to insurance companies.
For patients lacking insurance, workers collected their information, but in the face of the incredible demands of vaccinating thousands per day, clinics wrote off the expense. Submitting the claims to the HRSA’s COVID-19 Coverage Assistance Fund while still maintaining the break-neck pace would have required hiring additional staff.
As the year went on however, the health department had time to reconsider this approach and began to explore the option of filing HRSA claims. With so many uninsured patients having been vaccinated, the reimbursement revenue would likely be significant and could provide needed financial support for better health in the community. Plus – after nearly two years fighting COVID, additional revenue could help ease the toll on workers still battling on the front lines.
The staff would need to consolidate all the information associated with every uninsured vaccination and upload documentation to the agency to recoup the expenses – and they would have to complete the tasks in time to meet the HRSA filing deadline.
Fortunately, because much of the information was already recorded electronically, the process could be partially automated. But with thousands of records involved, errors and gaps in the data and these would need to researched and corrected, requiring significant data entry.
The health department engaged ezEMRx’s Billing Services Platform to provide the support needed to submit HRSA claims. We automated reporting for the clean records, while for the records in error, our team served to make all necessary corrections to both meet the tight deadline and to maximize reimbursement. The health department didn’t need to bring on additional staff to accommodate the extra work and our fee was charged as a percentage of reimbursement received, neutralizing expense impact on their budget.
Best of all, replacing write-offs with revenue allows the health department the resources to provide some relief for the nurses and staff who have bravely and selflessly served during the pandemic.