A recent report released by health IT company athenahealth details the performance of 148 payers. Using data from more than 52,000 healthcare providers, athenahealth is able to analyze millions of charges and payments to provide insight into financial and administrative performance. For the second year in a row, Humana is ranked at the top, with the best overall performance. For the ninth consecutive year, Medicaid ranks at the bottom.
Despite Medicaid’s poor performance, the report points out that they cause little collection burden on providers. Unsurprisingly, collection burden varies widely among payers, and even those noted for quick payments, such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, can place large collection requirements on providers.
One thing is certain – every payer is different, and building a relationship with any payer has ups and downs. Beyond factors discussed in the report, considerations such as insurance enrollment, program expansion, and population mix must play a role in any hospital’s payer selection.