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AIG’s other challenges

While AIG is publicly wrestling with the big issues of what to do about ex-Chair Hank Greenberg, questionable financial transactions, and its plummeting stock price, it also has a few managed care and claims functions that need to be addressed.
Tops among these is the fallout from consolidation of medical bill processing (for workers comp) from the individual claims offices to two central locations in Georgia and Kansas. While the move has been completed, there appear to be significant issues related to bill processing accuracy and timeliness that have yet to be resolved.
Some of this is to be expected, as moving operations, starting new offices and hiring new staff is bound to create a learning curve. However, it appears that the learning curve is quite a bit longer than providers or regulators are willing to tolerate. A/R issues abound, and sources indicate the centers are inundated with calls from providers seeking information about long-overdue bills. Early reports were that there were problems with the new bill review system’s (implemented last summer) impact on productivity; this is getting better as staff learn the system and fixes are implemented.
AIG has never been known for its claims-paying speed or investments in technology, preferring to focus on underwriting and creativity in identification and exploitation of business niches. It has been the best in the business at the tasks it has chosen to pursue, but will need to direct some of its considerable talent to the basics of bill processing if it is to achieve even average status in that critical area.
What does this mean for you?
Plan transitions carefully, as the old saw goes, “if you don’t have time to do it right in the first place, what makes you think you’ll have time to fix it later”.

Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates



A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.



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