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Health Uniform Standards Will Improve Efficiency, Costs

Armen Hareyan's picture

Minnesota has became the first state in the nation to adopt rules that will help health care providers quickly and accurately verify their patients' insurance coverage and the medical benefits or services for which they are eligible. The rules require that beginning in 2009, "eligibility inquiry and response" transactions between health care providers and insurance companies and other payers must be exchanged electronically, using a single standard format. Governor Pawlenty proposed the legislation authorizing the rules in collaboration with health care providers and health plans. The goal is to improve service and reduce costs of a common activity occurring millions of times each year during most interactions between patients and their health care providers.

"This rule is important because until now, payers and providers often had many different requirements for the exchange of very routine business information," said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Sanne Magnan, who approved the rule. "The resulting complexity creates a great deal of unnecessary burden, rework and expense throughout the health care system. Given the high volume of eligibility inquiries