Data Ranks Insurers According to Speed of Claim Payment, Share of DenialsAetna, Cigna and Humana ranked highest nationally on criteria including speed of health claim payments and fewest claims denied, according to the 2009 PayerView Rankings, the Boston Globe reports. The rankings -- prepared by Athenahealth in collaboration with Physicians Practice management journal -- evaluated 172 national, regional and government payers in 40 states.
According to the data, insurers paid physicians an average 5.3% faster in 2008 and denied an average of 9% fewer medical claims compared with 2007 figures. On average, national health insurers paid physicians in 33 days and denied 9.2% of claims.
According to the Globe, the rankings reveal some of the obstacles that can result from the complexities and bureaucracy involved in the medical billing process, with each insurer operating in different ways. Jonathan Bush, chair and CEO of Athenahealth, said, "This is the biggest problem we have in health care -- the inability to close supply chains and to practically and tactically connect doctors with payers and patients," adding, "These connections are broken" (Weisman, Boston Globe, 5/28).
The rankings are available online. This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.