A majority of providers and insurers have yet to realize an adequate return on investment from implementing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the chairman of the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange, Jim Wicker, told an HHS subcommittee on electronic standards and security.
Wicker said there had been some payoffs; for example, payers are reporting increased volume of electronic claims transactions, fewer claims denials and overall increases in efficiency. But many challenges remain, including variations in the codes used, he said. Many providers believe HIPAA's benefits were overestimated early on, while the initial investment required was underestimated, Wicker said.
Joseph Smith, vice president at Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield, said providers have not yet made full use of electronic transactions. The Arkansas Blues plan has not regained its investment in HIPAA's administrative simplification requirements after 17 months, but the insurer remains supportive of industrywide compliance, Smith said.