It’s not just state employees and retirees being affected by problems at Regence Blue Shield, Washington’s insurance commissioner says.
Last week I wrote about Regence’s delays in paying doctors for treatment of retirees and others who use the state’s Uniform Medical Plan as secondary insurance. The backlog of unpaid claims had reached nearly 300,000.
Now Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler is wading in. He said Wednesday he has ordered parent company Regence Group to develop a plan for correcting its problems, after meeting Sept. 1 with fellow regulators from Oregon, Utah and Idaho and Regence CEO Mark Ganz.
The previously reported delays in processing Medicare-related claims are the biggest of the worries, but others seem to be unrelated to those difficulties. For example, Kreidler said Regence’s computer system malfunctioned Aug. 5, causing more than 6,000 billing errors.
Patients’ bank accounts were debited for money they didn’t owe, probably because of inaccurate routing numbers, Kreidler said — and in more than 200 cases, the accounts belonged to people who weren’t even Regence customers.
Some withdrawals reached into the thousands of dollars, Kreidler said. And some of the bills that went to the wrong people contained Regence customers’ names and identification numbers, which weren’t supposed to be disclosed.
“The Regence Group needs to gets its act together,” Kreidler said in a statement. Read more »