Saving Billions of Dollars--And Physicians' Time--By Streamlining Billing Practices

Year in Research Nominee for 2010

The U.S. system of billing third parties for health care services is complex, expensive and inefficient. Physicians end up using nearly 12 percent of their net patient service revenue to cover the costs of excessive administrative complexity. A single transparent set of payment rules for multiple payers, a single claim form, and standard rules of submission, among other innovations, would reduce the burden on the billing offices of physician organizations.

On a national scale, this hypothetical modeling of these changes would translate into $7 billion of savings annually for physician and clinical services. Four hours of professional time per physician and five hours of practice support staff time could be saved each week.

This study examines excessive administrative complexity from a focused and potentially practical perspective.