Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Florida HMOs Fined over Late Payments Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plan Gets Fined $50,000, Plus Interest

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Florida HMOs Fined over Late Payments Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plan Gets Fined $50,000, Plus Interest

Article excerpt

Byline: Sarah Skidmore, Times-Union business writer

The Florida Department of Insurance fined almost half of Florida's HMOs on Friday for failure to pay physicians and other health care providers on time.

Florida requires HMOs to pay, contest or deny a claim within 35 days after it is received.

Companies have a window of time to handle any appeals or other business, but they must settle all claims within 120 days.

But the department found some of the late-paying companies regularly failed to settle claims within the law's time frame.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida's plan, Health Options Inc., failed to pay claims in what the department determined is a timely manner and will be fined $50,000.

The only other local HMO fined is the now-defunct Mayo Health Plan Inc.

It must pay $25,000 for its failure to pay within 120 days.

Blue Cross spokesman Mark Wright said the company disputes the department's method and final decision but agrees to the terms. …

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