News: Anthem billions of dollars behind on provider payments

CDI Strategies - Volume 15, Issue 46

Anthem Blue Cross is behind on billions of dollars in owed payments to hospitals and doctors, according to an article published by Kaiser Health News. The delay in payment is reportedly due to onerous new reimbursement rules, computer problems, and mishandled claims.

Virginia Commonwealth University Health stated in a letter that Anthem owed them $385 million, and that more than 40% of the claims are greater than 90 days overdue even though Virginia law requires insurers to pay claims within 40 days. According to, Anthem’s late and unpaid claims for all Virginia hospitals amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars, the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association told Kaiser Health News.

Before the pandemic, 43% of Anthem’s medical bills were unpaid for the quarter of June 30, 2019. As of June 30, 2021, the amount of Anthem’s unpaid medical bills has jumped to 53%, a difference of $2.5 billion. However, Anthem profits were $4.6 billion in 2020 and $3.5 billion for the first half of 2021, Kaiser Health News, reported.

The American Hospital Association (AHA) says Anthem often hinders coverage for outpatient surgery, specialty pharmacy, and other services in health systems listed as in-network.

“Nationwide, the payment delays are creating an untenable situation,” the AHA wrote in a letter to Anthem. “Patients are facing greater hurdles to accessing care; clinicians are burning out on unnecessary administrative tasks; and the system is straining to finance personnel supplies.”

Editor’s note: The original coverage of Anthem’s delay in payments was published by Kaiser Health News.

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