US health insurers could slash costs by
$15.5bn annually by eliminating errors, reveals the American
Medical Association’s (AMA) third annual study of commercial health
Specifically, the AMA found that one-in-five
medical claims processed by health insurers contain errors.
The AMA estimates that $777.6m in unnecessary
administrative cost could be saved if the health insurance industry
improves claims processing accuracy by 1%.
Increasing the health insurance industry’s
accuracy rating to 100% would save up to $15.5bn annually.
The AMA also pointed to a study which estimated
that physicians spend the equivalent of five weeks annually on
health insurer red tape, and divert up to 14% of their revenue to
ensure accurate payments from insurers.
Overall, the AMA estimates that the health care
system spends up to $210bn annually on claims processing.
According to the AMA’s findings, the health
insurance industry as a whole has about an 80% accuracy rate for
processing and paying claims.
Coventry Health Care came out on top of the
commercial health insurers, measured by the AMA, with a national
accuracy rating of 88.41%.
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield fared worst, with
a national accuracy rating of 73.98%.