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HHS Issues Final Interim 'Red Tape' Rule

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, July 1, 2011

According to a statement issued by HHS, the $12 billion in savings will come from reduced red tape because physicians, other health providers and health insurance companies will need to make fewer phone calls, spend less in postage, and will waste less time fighting denied claims. The administrative burdens involved in providing healthcare will become much more automatic.

The Medical Group Management Association's William F. Jessee, MD, issued a statement late Thursday saying he's pleased by the administration's operating rules. "MGMA championed administrative simplification as one of our primary advocacy initiatives during consideration of the Affordable Care Act."

Jessee said the rules will have a significant positive impact and "will improve the efficiency of these transactions by supplying timely and more robust eligibility information and streamlining medical groups' claims administration processes."

The "Red Tape" rule is said to be the first of several steps to streamline the system. Future rules will address adoption of

  • Standards and operating rules for electronic funds transfer and remittance advice
  •  A standard unique identifier for health plans
  •  A standard for claims attachments
  •  Requirements that health plans certify compliance with all standards and operating rules set by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

The administration is accepting comments on the rule through Sept. 6.

Comments are moderated. Please be patient.