The Medical Group Management Association is cheering House passage of the Affordable Health Care for America Act reform bill, in part because of its provisions for standardizing electronic administrative transactions.
“We also applaud the inclusion of comprehensive administrative simplification provisions in H.R. 3962,” said William Jessee, M.D., MGMA president and CEO, in a news release. “As a longtime leader and advocate of administrative simplification initiatives, we assert that these changes will significantly streamline the administration of healthcare. These modifications will, quite literally, transform the healthcare delivery process.”
The bill calls for the enabling of real- or near real-time determination a patient's financial responsibility at the point of service and, if possible, before service, including the determination of a patient's eligibility “for a specific service with a specific physician at a specific facility.” The bill calls for using machine-readable health plan beneficiary identification cards to accomplish these tasks.
The use of machine-readable ID cards has been the subject of the MGMA's Project SwipeIT campaign. According to the MGMA, current methods using nonstandardized IDs lead to $2.2 billion in waste each year.
“Our member research indicates that promulgation of rules for the health plan identifier and electronic claims attachment standards, utilization of standardized machine-readable patient identification cards and enhanced enforcement of health plan compliance, in concert with uniform companion guides and operating rules for all administrative transactions, will result in significant, long-term savings to the healthcare system,” Jessee said.
The Englewood, Colo.-based MGMA has 22,500 members who work in leadership roles at 13,700 healthcare organizations where some 275,000 physicians practice. It announced its support of a healthcare reform bill in a Nov. 6 letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.