New health care provisions could save up to $4.6 billion

The Department of Health and Human Services announced a proposed rule that would establish a unique health plan identifier to simplify administrative procedures under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. The rule could save health care providers and health plans up to $4.6 billion during the next 10 years, according a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) news release.

Currently, there is no standardized identification system for third-party entities, which can causes misrouting of transactions, rejection of transactions due to insurance provider errors and difficulty determining patient eligibly. The proposed rule would implement a unique identifier of standard length and format to facilitate routine use in computer systems, allowing offices to automate and simplify administrative processes.

The rule would also delay the required compliance with the new Internal Classification of Diseases, 10th edition diagnosis and procedure codes until Oct. 1, 2014. The new date will allow providers more time to prepare and fully test their systems, ensuring a smooth and coordinated transition, according to the release.

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