St. Louis Public Radio News
6:04 pm
Fri September 11, 2009

Nixon orders D.O.I. to examine insurance reimbursements

Jefferson City, MO – Governor Jay Nixon has ordered the Missouri Department of Insurance to look into complaints that health insurance companies are unreasonably delaying reimbursements to doctors and hospitals.

The complaints number in the hundreds, according to Insurance Department spokesman Travis Ford.

"We have a hospital in the St. Louis area that has complaints regarding more than 3,000 unpaid claims, that's at just one hospital...then we have a small anesthesia practice in central Missouri that has a complaint regarding almost $120,000 in outstanding claims," Ford said.

A statewide survey into all unpaid claims will be conducted this fall.

"This is putting a real strain on health care providers, especially in smaller and rural settings, where cash flow is an issue...it is affecting physicians groups and hospitals, chiropractors, (people) of all shapes and sizes in all parts of the state," Ford said.

The results will be delivered to Governor Nixon and to lawmakers to see if new prompt pay legislation is needed next year.