Thinks HMOs Wrongfully Blamed

BY BILL SCHEERER

I was disappointed that the article “Managing the Cash Gap” ( JofA , Oct.99, page 27) was allowed to be published with such a blatant, unsubstantiated slam against the HMO industry. The statement that “some health care providers can have 60 to 90 days in receivables, thanks to slow-paying HMOs that actively manage their cash gaps by delaying payments” is uncalled for in a professional publication. We all know that HMOs have become the media’s favorite whipping boy now that other favorites like the tobacco industry are in disarray, but I don’t expect that behavior from the JofA .

I have been involved in HMOs for over 10 years. While there no doubt are some bad apples out there, every HMO I have been involved in has worked hard to get claims paid as quickly as possible. Any additional interest earned on cash flow is not worth the member service and provider service headaches and increased administrative costs due to higher call volumes, member and provider dissatisfaction, and so forth, that result from deliberately slowing claims payments.

Bill Scheerer, CPA
Atlanta

SPONSORED REPORT

Tax reform complicates year-end tax planning

Get your clients ready for tax season with these year-end tax planning strategies, which address how to make the most of recent tax law changes, such as the new deduction for qualified business income and the cap on the deductibility of state and local taxes.

VIDEO

What RPA is and how it works

Robotic process automation is like an Excel macro that can work on multiple applications, says Danielle Supkis Cheek, CPA. RPA can complete routine, repetitive tasks such as data entry, freeing up employee time from lower-level chores.