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08 March 2010

Burlison: Health Care Reform Updates

House Bill 2205 Sponsored by Rep. Burlison Heard in Committee

This week I presented House Bill 2205 to the Health Care Policy Committee which will reduce the enormously wasteful process insurance companies are mandated by the state to perform. Each year insurance companies are required to print millions of documents they could simply make available on the internet requiring them to spend unnecessary monies. Changing this policy will allow them to become more efficient so they can pass the cost savings on to their customers which should lower the price of insurance.

Several insurance companies testified in favor of the bill stating it would save millions of dollars in printing and postage. While many in Washington D.C. are debating who is going to pay for healthcare, we in Missouri are more focused on how we can reduce costs. Insurance companies and health care providers are the most regulated industries and if we can do anything to address the costs of care we must begin to remove the red-tape that binds these institutions to the stone-age.

House Takes Action Towards Health Care Reform HB 1498

Health care reform is one of the most talked about issues in the country. There are several differing views on what steps need to be taken to improve health care and make it more affordable, more accessible, and more transparent.

Because of the controversy surrounding the issue, very little has been done on a national level to improve the system. However, in the Missouri House of Representatives we are accomplishing the common-sense steps necessary to advance health care reform.

Many health care providers in Missouri, such as hospitals and physicians, have experienced financial difficulties which have been caused by the health insurance companies' failure to make payments for health care services in a reasonable time frame. The House took a direct look at this problem.

This week House members passed House Bill 1498 with overwhelming bi-partisan support. The bill sponsored by Representative Tim Jones, R—Eureka, requires health insurance companies to pay provider claims in a timely manner.

Through this legislation, a health insurance company would no longer have the ability to delay payments to providers by suspending a claim through loopholes and special exceptions. Instead, they would be allowed 45 days to process and pay, or deny the provider's claim.

If the health insurance company needs additional information or has any questions regarding the claim, they must do so inside the 45-day window. Days in which the health insurance company is waiting for a response from the provider for information would not count towards their 45-days.

  • If the health insurance company does not pay the provider within the specific timeframe, that company would incur a penalty.
  • If the provider's claim is denied, health insurance companies will be required to provide a specific reason for the denial.

Through HB 1498, we are giving health care providers an opportunity to remain financially stable in their practice and give them the ability to rely on the prompt payment of their claims. This legislation has gained wide-spread support throughout the state and on both sides of the isle.

Springfield City Utilities Customers can Swap Refrigerators for Rebates

Utility recycling program offers $35 credit on your electric bill for each old, energy-wasting refrigerator unit you have in your home or business. Plus, customers can get their aging refrigerators and freezers hauled away for free. Pleas contact Springfield Utilities to find out more: 417-874-8200.

Also: On a side note I would like to include this picture from a visit from the Home Builder's Association and say thank you for stopping by the office!

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