Anthem owes providers $3M for underpaid claims

Anthem Blue Cross has agreed to pay $3 million as part of a settlement with the California Department of Managed Health Care regarding claims it underpaid between 2007 and 2011.

The $3 million will go toward repaying about 4,650 providers money they're owed after Anthem failed to pay interest on late paid claims. About 85 percent of the providers will receive less than $100 each, reported by the Sacramento Business Journal.

"The agreement ensures that healthcare providers will be paid fairly and accurately and underscores our commitment to providers," DMHC Director Brent Barnhart said in a statement. "The proper payment of claims is crucial to the success of California's healthcare delivery system."

Anthem must make the payments, including penalties and interest, within 120 days. DMHC also is requiring that Anthem change its claims payment and provider dispute processes to improve the training and auditing procedures to ensure claims are paid appropriately, according to the agreement.

"It's important to note that these claims issues did not affect patient care and only relate to errors in interest payments to providers on overdue bills," Anthem spokesman Darrel Ng said. "Anthem processes tens of millions of claims per year, and we will continue to work to improve the speed and accuracy of processing those claims."

To learn more:
- here's the agreement and statement
- read the Sacramento Business Journal article