144586 tn?1284669764
Factoring
One of the biggest problems in health care is the fact that physicians (and hospitals) do not always get promptly reimbursed. This has led to the creation of an entire industry, largely unregulated, known as "factors". Factors purchase your health care bill from the physician, providing him/her with immediate cash, albeit at a discount. Then the factor submits the bill and eventually recieves payment. Hospitals often select factors based upon kickbacks. Years ago I was involved in what are called "Qui Tam" investigations revolving around factoring, and I found that the iceberg was very large and only the tiny tip protruded. Lots of little companies registered in Delaware with most of the trails leading to Ohio.  To my dismay I discovered there is more than a little bit of "organized crime" involvement.

You can't blame the physician or hospital for seeking a factor, and all factors are not "friends or ours", but there is a veil over this practice and there is no "sunshine act" requiring caregivers to reveal who the factors are, what they are being paid, and the criterion in their selection.

Much as we have "speedy trial" legislation, one of the best way to reduce costs would be to insure "speedy timely reimbursement" of health care professional, particularly by governmental entities.
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Factoring is a practice in other industries besides just healthcare.  Companies in other industries also sell their accounts receivables to a factor to get quick cash to pay off current debts (or whatever their needs might be) or to relieve the burden of continuing to try to collect on older accounts.

I see your point that if health insurance companies/goverment entities were to pay claims in a timely manner then a hospital or physicians' practice wouldn't feel the need to sell their accounts receivables to a factor.  It would be nice if insurance companies could police themselves and provide timely processing and payment of claims.  My insurance company pays claims within 15 days, but not all insurance companies I've had have been that speedy.  Getting the government to speed up its process...that might take a while.          
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