As our clients know, DaisyBill tracks the time claims administrators take to pay our providers. Compiling this data is part of our mission to help work comp providers obtain the payments they’ve earned as guaranteed by California law.
Because electronic billing and payment is so much easier and more efficient than the paper variety, California Labor Code holds higher standards for timely payment of e-bills from insurers. While some insurers fail to meet these standards, some actually exceed them. We’d like to offer a few well-earned kudos to those payors who consistently remit payment in a more-than-timely manner.
All payors (insurance companies, self-insured employers, and third-party claims administrators) have 15 working days to pay electronic bills, according to California Labor Code § 4603.4. Sadly, providers are essentially responsible for enforcing this rule, which results in inconsistent compliance by payors.
To shed light on payor behavior, we created our Insights Tool and its Average Days to Payment tracker.
This tool compiles data for physician, medical-legal, interpreter, copy services, and pharmacy bills. For all these services, we track payment for Original Bills, Second Review, and Independent Bill Review (IBR). We also rank insurers by the sheer volume of bills they process, tracking their respective percentages of the total number of bills submitted.
The Top 10 Work Comp Payors by Average Days to Payment
For all bills submitted between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017, the 10 fastest-paying insurers on our list remitted payment in 8 days or fewer — a full 7 days before the legally mandated deadline! Some of these insurers are large, processing significant percentages of all bills submitted. Others are small, processing far fewer bills.
All of them, however, deserve credit for their quick payment times.
The fastest payor overall was Helmsman Management Services. While tiny by volume, processing less than a single percent of all bills, whatever Helmsman lacks in size they made up for in speed. Of all 289 insurers in our database, Helmsman outpaced them all with an average days to payment of 5.4.
Liberty Mutual was a close second, an especially impressive feat considering their relative size by volume of bills processed. Liberty Mutual processed many times the number of bills as Helmsman, but still turned them around at a comparable rate. With 5.9 average days to payment, Liberty Mutual demonstrates that even the biggest companies have no reason to be slow in reimbursing providers.
Another higher-volume insurer that cracked the Top 10 is California’s State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF), which despite being our second largest payor by volume still maintained an average days to payment of 6.5. With more than double the volume of bills as Liberty Mutual, SCIF paid only 6/10 of a day slower.
Honorable mention goes to Gallagher Bassett. Our third-largest by volume, Gallagher Bassett only missed the top 10 by 8/10 of a day. Sutter Health, Schools Insurance Authority, California Fair Services, GuideOne Insurance, Keenan & Associates, Risico Claims Management, QBE North American, and Barrett Business Services also came within a day of the 8-day cutoff for the Top 10.
Big or small, these insurers do right by providers and injured workers in exceeding their legal obligation for timely payment of electronic bills. We here at DaisyBill think that’s worth a sincere nod of approval.
The best news for providers? No matter the payor, electronic billing is the fastest, most efficient way for providers to obtain payment. Let our Average Days to Payment statistics be all the proof providers need to abandon the inefficient, environmentally-unfriendly practice of paper billing once and for all.