Insurance companies are asking doctors and other healthcare facilities to pay a fee to get paid; another sign of a broken system.
A while ago, there were companies our office signed up with to verify insurance. This is a common procedure all doctors should be doing prior to a patient coming in for their first visit. Along with precerts, fee reductions, and clean claims paid improperly, insurers are now adding a pay us for us to pay you clause.
One of the ways we are affected is insurers are sending us payments using a credit card debit code. In order to get paid, the credit card machine must be used and they charge a fee for each transaction. The practice is known as using virtual credit card fees. Currently, the NJ Assembly has voted unanimously that insurers cannot do this and the legislation according the the ANJC (Assn. of NJ Chiropractors).
Insurers have a way of making healthcare worse for all of us and perhaps, the reason so many doctors are now working for large practices or hospital systems is that they are tired of the nonsense, the missed paychecks (yes, doctors miss paychecks when cash flow suffers at the hand of insurers acting poorly.
ProPublica recently looked into these activities that have been opposed by everyone in healthcare who supports the rights of doctors to practice healthcare rather than suffer at the hands of insurers acting badly and getting away with bad business practices the state regulators have tolerated as they too cannot keep up with it. Check out the article from ProPublica below
The Hidden Fee Costing Doctors Millions Every Year
by Cezary Podkul Aug. 14, 5 a.m. EDT
A powerful lobbyist convinced a federal agency that doctors can be forced to pay fees on money that health insurers owe them. Big companies rake in profits while doctors are saddled with yet another cost in a burdensome healthcare system.
It was a multibillion-dollar strike, so stealthy and precise that the only visible sign was a notice that suddenly vanished from a government website.
In August 2017, a federal agency with sweeping powers over the healthcare industry posted a notice informing insurance companies that they weren’t allowed to charge physicians a fee when the companies paid the doctors for their work. Six months later, that statement disappeared without explanation.
The vanishing notice was the result of a behind-the-scenes campaign by the insurance industry and its middlemen that has largely escaped public notice — but that has had massive financial consequences that have rippled through the healthcare universe. The insurers’ invisible victory has tightened the financial vise on doctors and hospitals, nurtured a thriving industry of middlemen, and allowed health insurers to do something no other industry does: Take one last cut even as it pays its bills.
Insurers now routinely require doctors to kick back as much as 5% if they want to be paid electronically. Even when physicians ask to be paid by check, doctors say, insurers often resume the electronic payments — and the fees — against their wishes. Despite protests from doctors and hospitals, the insurers and their middlemen refuse to back down.