Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012
This Week's News
This Week's News
AMA, Georgia physicians stand up to insurers' challenge of prompt-pay law
A powerful group of health insurers is trying to stop implementation of Georgia's new prompt-pay law, but the AMA and physicians in the Peach State are seeking to defend this legislation in federal court.
The Litigation Center of the AMA and State Medical Societies and the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) on Friday filed a motion to intervene in a legal challenge that America's Health Insurance Plans brought against an important prompt-pay law passed in 2011. The legislation, which the AMA and the MAG had urged state legislators to adopt for six years, requires insurers—including those that manage employer-funded health plans—to pay medical claims in a timely manner.
This case has national implications, AMA President Jeremy A. Lazarus, MD, said in a news release. The Georgia law effectively closed a regulatory loophole that left insurers "unaccountable for chronically late payments when they serve as administrators for self-insured employers," he said.
Such business practices have made it difficult for physicians, especially those in small practices, to maintain a sustainable practice environment.
"The fundamental fairness mandated by Georgia's statute allows physicians to redirect their limited resources from battling to get the payments they've earned to caring for patients," MAG President Sandra Reed, MD, said.
If the court grants the physicians' motion, the AMA and the MAG will become defendants alongside Georgia's insurance commissioner, bringing to the case their expertise in claims payment issues and extensive experience in addressing insurers' unfair business practices.
The law is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.