A few months ago, North Carolina's largest insurer was hesitant to reveal hospital payments on a state-mandated consumer information website. Now, it's making a bigger leap with its own online transparency initiative.
All HIPAA-covered health organizations, and especially insurers, have been handed a small victory in the war of administrative simplification, as federal regulators once again back off a policy change long in the making.
The raison d'etre and central function of health insurers has had a slow time coming into the 21st century. But with both providers and patients demanding a better experience, the impetus for progress could bring a critical mass.
The federal government and a number of hospitals may want to transition to a new Medicare reimbursement model. But there are still billions of dollars in disputed fee-for-service claims waiting to be settled.