Missouri approves bill penalizing slow insurance payouts

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 | 3:31 p.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY — Insurance companies that wait too long to pay health care claims in Missouri will face financial penalties beginning next year.

Gov. Jay Nixon signed the so-called "prompt pay" legislation during a Tuesday ceremony in Jefferson City. Nixon says the changes will help reduce costs for health care providers and insurance companies.

Insurers will have about 45 days to pay claims to health care providers. Those that take too long would need to pay an extra financial penalty. The bill also spells out the information health providers must provide to insurers.

The changes take effect in 2011.

Earlier this year, Missouri insurance officials released a report that found more than $500 million in outstanding claims at 69 hospitals.

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