To save money, Md. care providers to use single form

October 01, 1993|By Patricia Meisol | Patricia Meisol,Staff Writer

Doctors, dentists, druggists and hospitals in Maryland will switch today to a single form for filing insurance claims in a move to save time and money by cutting paperwork.

Until now, when medical professionals sought payment for treating a patient, each insurance company required doctors and hospitals to use its form or coding. Physicians who participated with several insurers had to remember a number of different rules for each. For instance, an instruction manual published by the Maryland Hospital Association to help its members comply with one form is 255 pages.

Several states already use a single form for each type of provider. Maryland's form for doctors, for instance, was selected by the Maryland Insurance Administration from those used by federal health agencies for Medicare reimbursements.

The administration issued new rules to force insurance companies to accept the single claim form in response to a 1992 law.

The idea of a single form for all medical claims is included in the health care plan proposed by the Clinton administration. Maryland officials said states eventually might be forced to change to a federal form.

Meanwhile, the single form will lay the groundwork for an electronic claims system that the state must develop by 1995, said Lars Kristiansen, chief of legislative policy for the insurance administration.

In addition to easing paperwork, he said, the new form should result in fewer claims that are disputed by insurance companies because they were filled out incorrectly.

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