The New York State Insurance Department says a carrier wants to require hospitals to alert it within 24 hours after member patients have been admitted.

The New York department has asked the carrier, a unit of UnitedHealth Group Inc., Minnetonka, Minn., to delay implementation of the rule, officials say.

UnitedHealth’s UnitedHealthcare unit could impose a penalty of up to 50% of normal payment if a hospital fails to notify UnitedHealthcare within 24 hours after a patient is admitted, officials say.

“There are no exceptions to this policy, even for weekends or holidays when the hospital’s business office may not be fully staffed,” officials say.

The New York department has been meeting with UnitedHealthcare and hospital groups about the new system, and it wants more time to get more information, officials say.

Representatives for UnitedHealth were not immediately available to comment on the New York department announcement.