BCBS Requests Delay on HIPAA ‘Administrative Simplification’ Provisions
The Blue Cross/Blue Shield Association is lobbying the Bush administration and Congress for an additional two years to come into compliance with the "administrative simplification" requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, CongressDaily/A.M. reports. The law requires healthcare providers to use uniform codes with "everyday transactions," such as claim submissions, referrals and premium payments by October 2002. But the costs of implementing the new codes may run as high as $3.5 million per hospital over ten years, a study commissioned by BCBS found. HHS previously estimated that the costs -- which include "reprogramming and system changes, consulting fees and payer remediation" -- could run "the average community hospital" as much as $250,000 over ten years, but the changes would bring "significant cost savings." The BCBS study put that number at $775,000 to 3.5 million and says that any cost savings are likely to be reduced by the "unanticipated increase" in projected costs (Fulton, CongressDaily/A.M., 3/22).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.