Biz Brief: AMA Says 20% of Medical Insurance Claims Are Mishandled

One in five medical claims is processed inaccurately by health insurers, the American Medical Association said on Monday. Without these errors, the health care system, which spends as much as $210 billion annually on claims processing, could save $15.5 billion annually in administrative costs. These errors also slow down payments to doctors and frustrate patients, the organization of physicians said.

Since the group began rating the nation's largest health insurers in 2008, their error rates have improved, the report said. Of the eight insurers rated, Coventry Health Care (CVH) had the highest national accuracy rating of 88.4%. Anthem Blue Cross, a subsidiary of Wellpoint (WLP), had the lowest accuracy rating of 74%. All except Cigna (CI) had gotten slower in responding to claims since 2008.

Aetna (AET), Humana (HUM), UnitedHealth Group (UNH), and Health Care Service were also rated.