Study: Payors Lag in Payments Due to Technology, Compliance

In 2011, it took longer for health insurers to pay physicians, but major technology shifts and new compliance regulations may have caused the delays, according to athenahealth's PayerView Rankings.

The new technology and compliance measures — such as meaningful use, Version 5010 and ICD-10 — also affected the trading partners of payors, which impacted physician payment.

In 2010, physicians had an average days in accounts receivable of 25.2 days with major payors such as Humana and Aetna, and that figure increased to 26.1 days last year. Medicare DAR increased from 25.8 to 26.7.

"Looking ahead, we expect 2012 to follow 2011 as a year where payors will need to continue to up their game just to offset the challenges of compliance obligations and, more specifically, the greater volume of conversions to [Version] 5010," said Jonathan Bush, CEO of athenahealth. "Even though payors are converging at improved levels of performance, it's still not at the level physicians need and we've come to expect from other transaction-based industries."

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