Global health service company Cigna (NYSE: CI) received high marks in the American Medical Association’s (AMA) new Administrative Burden Index (ABI), which was introduced as part of the medical organization’s annual National Health Insurer Report Card.
The ABI ranked commercial health insurers according to the level of cost associated to billing and payment of medical claims. Among the seven major health insurance companies the AMA looked at, Cigna had the best ABI overall rework cost per claim of $1.25, or 47 percent below the commercial insurer average. The average cost incurred by medical practices was $2.36 per claim, according to the report.
Cigna also earned leading scores in three of the six “burden” metric categories calculated by the ABI, including costs associated with delayed remittance response, application of payer-specific claim edits, and denials.
“Data from the AMA National Health Insurer Report Card is very useful in helping us assess and benchmark our performance,” said Alan Muney, M.D., Cigna's chief medical officer. “We are proud of our continued strong performance, particularly in the new ABI metrics. These results demonstrate our commitment to always driving improved service for both health care professionals and for our customers.”This year, the AMA also called on insurers to provide health care professionals with tools to automatically determine a patient’s payment responsibility prior to treatment. Cigna has also been a leader in this space, providing a Cost of Care Estimator that delivers about 500,000 estimates annually to Cigna-contracted health care professionals at an accuracy rate within 10 percent of the patient's cost 90 percent of the time. Cigna has synchronized the cost information provided to physicians with cost information for Cigna customers. This enables individuals – prior to an office or hospital visit – to see the same information that health care professionals see. Cigna’s customer website, myCigna.com, features physician and health facility quality and pricing information that’s personalized to an individual’s health plan. The new price estimates cover more than 200 common procedures – from delivering babies to knee replacement surgery – that represent 80 percent of Cigna's medical claims. The sixth annual National Health Insurer Report Card is part of the AMA’s “Heal the Claims Process” campaign to promote transparency and improve claims payment efficiency. This is the first year that the ABI was added to the report card.
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