Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, said the proposed rule would implement several administrative simplification provisions as part the healthcare reform act.
"The new healthcare law is cutting red tape, making our healthcare system more efficient and saving money," Sebelius said in a statement. "These important simplifications will mean doctors can spend less time filling out forms and more time seeing patients."
Currently, when health plans and entities like third-party administrators bill providers, they are identified using a wide range of identifiers that do not have a standard length or format. As a result, healthcare providers run into a number of time-consuming problems, such as misrouting of transactions, rejection of transactions due to insurance identification errors, and difficulty determining patient eligibility, Sebelius said.
The rule simplifies the administrative process for providers by proposing that health plans have a unique identifier of a standard length and format to facilitate routine use in computer systems. It will allow providers to automate and simplify their processes, particularly when processing bills and other transactions, Sebelius said.