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National health insurance companies rank high in paying timely claims, study finds Posted: May 26th, 2011

By Maryalene LaPonsie

An annual industry survey of health insurance payment practices finds that companies are paying claims faster and making fewer denials. The 2011 PayerView Rankings considered the payment times for 132 national, regional and government health payers. The rankings determined that national health plans did better than regional plans when it came to making timely payments.

In terms of overall performance, the following health insurance companies ranked as the top five payers in the nation:

1. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island

2. Aetna and Aetna - US Healthcare

3. Humana (tie)

3. UnitedHealthcare (tie)

5. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Fewer claims denied

Aetna was also noted in the survey results as No. 1 in the Major Payer and National Commercial Payer categories. The insurer paid 96.8 percent of its claims on first submission, giving it the best first pass resolve rate in the survey. Overall, health plans from all companies are denying 5 percent fewer claims than in the past.

PayerView rankings were determined by athenahealth, a firm which offers practice management and patient communications services to medical groups. Actual claims data derived from the company's medical billing platform was used to create the rankings. Physicians Practice, a management journal for physicians, also collaborated in publishing the sixth annual PayerView Rankings.