Posted by | August 10, 2012 17:12 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

It may seem like a small thing but a big source of medical costs is the amount of time doctors spend filling out insurance forms.  A new regulation sets up a standard system for medical payments that will add up to make a big difference.

In combination with a previously issued regulation, the rule will save up to $9 billion over the next ten years. The regulation adopts operating rules for making health care claim payments electronically and describing adjustments to claim payments.

“These new rules will cut red tape, save money and ensure doctors spend more time seeing patients and less time filling out forms,” said Secretary Sebelius.

Studies have found that the average physician spends three weeks a year on billing and insurance related tasks, and, in a physician’s office, two-thirds of a full-time employee per physician is necessary to conduct these tasks. Many physician practices and hospitals receive and deposit paper checks, and manually post and reconcile the health care claim payments in their accounting systems. By receiving payments electronically and automating the posting of the payments, a physician practice and hospital’s administrative time and costs can be decreased.

This is not a partisan issue and it won’t get much attention.  But remember it the next time you hear a Republican complain about all these regulations issued by the Obama Adminisration.

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Copyright 2012 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.