CHC Helps Hospitals Dial Down Telecom Expenses
In at least one respect, rural hospitals are no different than metropolitan hospitals — both need advanced telecom systems and robust data circuits for optimal patient experiences and clinical outcomes. However, these services typically cost more for rural healthcare providers, making it difficult to keep up with the latest advancements. This is where Community Hospital Corporation (CHC) can help. Accessing a government program, CHC Consulting, the management and consulting arm of CHC, helps eligible hospitals obtain federal funding earmarked specifically to address this discrepancy. With telecom as well as healthcare experts in-house, CHC Consulting is uniquely qualified to help community hospitals curb their telecommunications costs.
Federal funding is available to offset rural hospitals’ telecom costs, but much of that money is left on the table. CHC Consulting is changing that, one hospital at a time.
Funds Set Aside for Rural Hospitals
Each year, the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) makes available $400 million or more in funding through the Rural Health Care (RHC) Telecommunications Program to ensure that qualifying rural healthcare providers — or urban-area hospitals that draw from rural areas or have rural clinics — can obtain telecom services at rates comparable to urban providers. In addition, the RHC’s Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) allows healthcare systems to request support as a single entity including non-rural facilities that are part of a largely rural consortium.
With combined telecom, IT and healthcare expertise, our experts know the program and process inside out, and can help with the onerous application process. Applying and following through on behalf of healthcare providers, CHC Consulting can save hospitals and clinics up to 95 percent on telecom costs.
“It’s not a set dollar amount that you get or don’t get by applying. Having an expert negotiate on your behalf maximizes the funding you receive and the savings you realize,” says Whittney Walker, CHC’s Vice President of Telecom Services.
“You can apply for the funding without making a single change and simply pay less for what you already have in place, but many hospitals take advantage of this opportunity to secure better pricing and reimbursements for telecommunications upgrades and improvements,” she adds.
Advanced information technology systems benefit patients and hospitals by improving clinical documentation and cost capturing, among other things. Upgrades made possible by USAC funding also help hospitals reliably connect to their affiliates; maintain an efficient picture archiving and communications system (PACS) for medical images; and provide telemedicine services where necessary or desired.
CHC Consulting offers comprehensive telecommunications funding assistance available at various levels.
Four Levels of Support
Turnkey Solution: CHC Consulting takes charge of Funding Process Management including strategy, eligibility and application, as well as the RFP, bidding and negotiation processes. We also help with documentation to USAC and ongoing monitoring and reapplication to USAC in future years. There is no upfront expense as CHC Consulting charges a highly competitive rate based on the funding delivered.
Training and Support: Onsite or web-based support and training options for your staff. Billed based on the scope of the engagement as either a one-time fee or a monthly fee, as opposed to our turnkey solution.
HCF Consortium Setup: CHC Consulting helps qualified healthcare providers establish their own consortium and obtain funding.
Denial Appeal Support: CHC Consulting can jump in and work on your behalf to adjudicate denied funding requests.
The CHC Consulting Difference
Our experience and expertise along with our mission to help hospitals set us apart from other USAC and HCF consultants who take a higher percentage of USAC funding as payment for their services. Yoakum Community Hospital in Texas had been paying a previous USAC consultant 10 times more for similar services before switching to CHC Consulting. The savings along with maximized USAC funding was the rocket fuel enabling what the hospital’s CEO called a “quantum leap forward” in financial and operational performance as well as patient care. The funding enabled them to implement hosted PACS and EMR solutions that have driven high quality care in their community.