MGMA 09: Health reform bills would mandate electronic transactions

All three healthcare reform bills pending in the House of Representatives and both bills currently before the Senate would mandate greater use of standardized electronic transactions for administrative and financial functions, the Medical Group Management Association says. All five bills call for machine-readable insurance identification cards--a part of the original HIPAA law that's never been implemented, and a longtime goal of the MGMA--and most would broaden or fortify existing HIPAA rules for administrative simplification, according to Health Data Management. However, there are some notable differences.

The three pieces of legislation in the House would finally mandate standards for HIPAA claims-status attachments, though both Senate bills did not have this provision as of last week. Four of the five proposals also would require real-time transactions for eligibility verification and claims submission, supported by the machine-readable ID cards, though the bill that passed the Senate Finance Committee did not.

For more on the transactions provisions in the reform bills:
- see this Health Data Management story

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