How many times has it happened with you that you submit a clean claim but still don’t get paid even three months later? Do you have any recourse? Yes, thanks to the prompt pay laws that each payer must follow when paying your medical claims.
Verify Which Laws Apply to Your Practice
Each state requires private insurers to pay all clean claims within a certain time frame. If the insurer does not pay the claim in a timely manner, then the payer is subject to paying interest on the charges owed to the practice (or directly to the beneficiary). Most time frames range from 15 to 45 working days, with 30 days about the average.
“If you are a little adventurous, you could search for your state law on the Internet,” says Joseph Lamm, office manager with Stark County Surgeons, Inc. in Massillon, Ohio. Lamm warns, however, that “reading through state laws and their multiple exceptions, references to other sections of state law, and ‘legalese’ can make this a very frustrating exercise.”
“Take advantage of your local or state medical society and the experts they employ to see if your state has a prompt pay law, and to which insurance companies it applies,” Lamm suggests. “The medical societies are on your side and will give you the correct information.”
State prompt pay laws do not apply to federal insurers, because the Federal Government dictates that clean claims must be paid in 30 days for Medicare Part B.
“If a state wants a prompt pay rule that’s longer or shorter, they certainly can do that with reference to other payer services,” says Connie A. Raffa, Esq., partner with Arent Fox, LLP in New York, NY. “But Medicare rules are federal and span across the country.”
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