Date: Monday, Nov. 25, 1996
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: HCFA Press Office(202) 690-6145
HCFA Announces Replacement Part B Carriers
The Health Care Financing Administration today announced the selection of new Medicare Part B carriers to process physician and supplier claims now handled by the Aetna Life Insurance Company. Aetna's Medicare Part B workload will be divided among these current carriers:
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama will administer the Part B workload for Georgia; - Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield will administer the Part B workload for New Mexico and Oklahoma; - Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, in conjunction with Transamerica Occidental Life Insurance Company, will administer the Part B workload for Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota will concentrate on customer service and claims processing functions with Transamerica Occidental Life Insurance Company performing payment integrity functions, such as medical review, Medicare secondary payer, and fraud and abuse, for these six states.
HCFA Administrator Bruce C. Vladeck noted that the new carriers have been chosen on the basis of their performance records in customer service, claims processing, and payment integrity. "HCFA staff are working to guarantee smooth transitions to the new carriers. Aetna is cooperating fully, and Medicare beneficiaries and providers can be assured there will be no interruption of service," Vladeck said.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 provided HCFA with the authority to separate program integrity activities. The arrangement between Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota and Transamerica Occidental Life Insurance Company will allow Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota to focus on improved beneficiary and provider service, with Transamerica Occidental to focus on improving the accuracy of Medicare program payments. Vladeck said that "this new administrative arrange ment will allow HCFA to gain experience using this approach while ensuring service to our customers."
Aetna will stop processing claims by Sept. 30, 1997. HCFA previously announced that Mutual of Omaha and various Blue Cross plans will assume Aetna's Part A claims processing workload.
Note: HHS press releases are available on the World Wide Web at: http://www.hhs.gov.