Doctors and health insurers are dueling over who is more to blame for payment delays.
Athenahealth Inc., Watertown, Mass., a company that provides medical billing services and other services for doctors, has generated a report that uses claim performance data for 7,000 of its customers to tell the physicians’ side of the story.
America’s Health Insurance Plans, Washington, has come out with a report of its own based on a survey of member insurers. That report emphasizes the role that problems with physicians’ bills plays in slowing down health insurance claim processing.
The reports have appeared as members of Congress are drafting a health information technology bill.
Athenahealth, which has drawn on a database containing “5 million charge lines” of data collected during the fourth quarter of 2005, says some payers pay much more quickly and easily than others.
The average number of days a claim is in accounts receivable is 38, according to Athenahealth.
But the bottom-ranked carrier denied claims twice as often as the bottom-ranked carrier, and one carrier was far more likely than the others to say it could not find a claim.