Even before factoring in supplies, lost paperwork, and wasted time, the cost of sending non-electronic workers’ compensation bills is climbing. As of February 1, network payer Homelink is charging providers a 2% fee for all bills submitted via snail mail.
In a recent email to providers, Homelink described the fee as part of an effort “to improve workflow processes with specific focus on billing and payment procedures.”
As of February 1, Homelink charges network providers a 2% fee for all paper bills that the provider sends to Homelink. In their recent email, Homelink instructed providers to submit all workers’ compensation bills and accompanying attachments to an approved clearinghouse in ANSI 837 format to avoid this 2% charge.
Homelink and other networks make workers’ comp needlessly inefficient by needlessly inserting themselves into an injured workers’ care while needlessly looting revenue from doctors that treat injured workers.
See for yourself.
The five steps steps below lists precisely how networks actually fail to “improve workflows processes”:
For step #2, if the doctor sends the bill to Homelink via mail, Homelink will penalize the doctor by further reducing the amount paid to the doctor by 2% — an amount that is already substantially below fee schedule reimbursement rates.
Homelink’s directive also specifically warns providers against calling or billing the insurer or employer directly — or else more monetary penalties. Homelink’s email states:
Homelink asks that providers submit their e-bills through one of the approved clearinghouses below:
Homelink Approved Clearinghouse
Smart Data Solutions (non-HealthPartners)
Smart Data Solutions (HealthPartners)
Fortunately, Homelink’s new policy will not cost daisyBill providers a dime; we submit bills to Homelink electronically via WCEDI/Data Dimensions Payer ID LU536.
Putting the false argument of network “efficiencies” aside, electronic billing is pivotal to improving the world of workers’ compensation, and Homelink’s decision to discourage paper billing is a step in a good direction.
The efficiency of electronic billing saves both providers and claims administrators time and money. Electronic billing also allows for a more transparent system, as e-bills and the attendant electronic documents are highly trackable (read: verifiable). For providers, electronic billing means an end to the false assertions from claims administrators that important paperwork was “lost in the mail.”
Meanwhile, regulators are empowered by electronic billing data to assess business practices regarding claims administrators’ processing and paying (or not paying) bills. While we don’t generally cheer for policies that charge providers extra, we commend Homelink for getting onboard with 21st century billing practices.
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