Consolidated Patient Account Center (CPAC)
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is issuing a newly redesigned, more secure Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC) to replace the Veteran Identification Card (VIC). The new VHICs are distinguished by additional security features that better protect the Veteran’s personal information and have a different look and feel. In addition to being more secure, the card offers enhanced features that transform it into a health identification card. Read more.
The CPAC Program Management Office (PMO) is pleased to announce that Ms. Susan Reed has been appointed to the Senior Executive Service (SES) position of the CPAC Executive Director effective October 2013. Ms. Reed brings a wealth of experience into this position having led the deployment of the CPAC program since 2005. Most notably to Ms. Reed’s credit in her role as the CPAC National Director and most recently as the CPAC Deputy Executive Director, the CPAC deployment was completed one year ahead of schedule and under budget. Since 2005, Ms. Reed provided expert guidance as CPAC moved through each transition phase. The success of the CPAC implementation can be attributed to enhanced levels of efficiency, oversight, and leadership.
VA’s Authority to Bill High Deductible Health Plans
In April 2013, VA Office of General Counsel (OCG) confirmed that VA may bill and accept reimbursement from high deductible health plans (HDHPs) for medical care and services provided to Veterans for non-service connected conditions. An HDHP is a health plan with an annual deductible of at least $1,250 for an individual or $2,500 for a family. An HDHP may provide coverage for preventive medical care or services without the deductible having been met by a covered individual.
OGC also confirmed that VA may accept reimbursement from employer-sponsored health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) – also referred to as health reimbursement accounts – for care and services provided for non-service connected conditions.
Finally, the opinion clarified that Veterans may use their health savings accounts (HSAs), often linked to HDHP plans, to pay their VA first party copayments.
Veterans benefit in several ways from VA’s efforts to collect funds from private insurers for these increasingly common types of health insurance plans. Read VA’s new fact sheet on VA health insurance billing for more information.
CPAC Featured on VA News
National CPAC Implementation Completed
Over the past four years, seven state-of-the-art business centers located in both commercial locations as well as on VA medical center grounds opened to provide the best setup for operations based on industry best practice. Additionally, over 3,500 high quality staff members were hired to perform core revenue cycle functions including insurance verification, billing, utilization review, and accounts receivable follow-up. These staff received training and education on business tools to ensure VA not only meets but exceeds collection targets. Finally, internal controls and quality assurance programs were set up to ensure the integrity of the work produced over the long term.
The results of the CPAC model are evidenced not only by the $30 million collections improvement in FY 12 versus the prior year but also with regard to improved performance metrics. Specifically, days to bill improved 4.0 days (from 42.4 days in FY 10 to 38.4 days and accounts receivable over 90 days improved by 5.5 percent (from 27.7 percent in FY 10 to 22.2 percent).
Through the implementation of CPAC, CBO is using industry-proven business processes to provide world-class revenue cycle management. Like the agency’s ongoing commitment to continually improve clinical care, a commitment to excellence in revenue practices strengthens our nation’s ability to meet Veterans’ healthcare needs.
Opening of Central Plains CPAC Celebrated
CPAC Implementation Reaches Halfway Point
CPAC began when the Mid-Atlantic CPAC was established in 2006 with a pilot program to service Veterans Service Integrated Network (VISN) 6. After the pilot demonstrated that standardized business practices and centralized operations could improve revenue operations, Congress authorized the expansion of CPAC throughout the Veterans Health Administration.
The CPAC business model calls for the establishment of seven regional account centers throughout the United States. The first to be fully operational (in fiscal year 2009) was the Mid-Atlantic Consolidated Patient Account Center (MACPAC), headquartered in Asheville, NC. The Mid-South (MSCPAC) and North Central CPACs (NCCPAC) became fully operational in FY 2010. And the Florida Caribbean CPAC (FCCPAC) completed transition in January 2011.
The three remaining regional CPACs will be fully implemented by the end of FY 2012. The North East CPAC (NECPAC) will serve VISNs 1, 2, 3, and 4 while the Central Plains CPAC (CPCPAC) will support VISNs 15, 19, and 23. The West CPAC (WCPAC) will handle revenue operations for VISNs 18, 20, 21, and 22.
According to Stephanie Mardon, Deputy Chief Business Officer for Revenue Operations, “Reaching the halfway point is a significant milestone for the CPAC program. An undertaking of this size and complexity is a challenge but we’ve learned a great deal from our experience and will apply those lessons to the implementation of the final three CPACs.”