Rules finalized for better information sharing among health care organizations

New rules for attachments, benefits verification, and infrastructure aim to improve communication

CAQH CORE, an organization representing a spectrum of health plans, providers, vendors, and government entities, released new operating rules to improve day-to-day health care operations and how plans and providers exchange information related to benefits coverage and supplemental documentation. More than 88 percent of participating organizations approved the adoption of these rules.

“The operating rules released today represent another step in improving the way plans and providers exchange information millions of times every day,” said Tim Kaja, MBA, Senior Vice President, Optum Care and CAQH CORE board chair, in a statement. “These rules will improve operations — in administrative offices and at the point of care — and will enhance the experience for all stakeholders.”

The rules cover three main areas: attachments, benefits verification, and infrastructure.

New rules for supplementary documentation attachments

The new prior authorization and health care claim attachments operating rules enable providers to send to health plans documentation to support a claim or prior authorization in a uniform, electronic format using industry standards. The exchange of attachments has been a longstanding industry challenge and these rules will lead to quicker coverage and payment decisions.

Updated rules for eligibility and benefits verification

The updated CAQH CORE Eligibility and Benefits Operating Rules enhance the exchange of information related to telemedicine, prior authorization, remaining coverage benefits, procedure-level information, and tiered benefits when a provider confirms patient eligibility. This will enable providers to have better information regarding patient coverage prior to or at the time of service and will result in more timely patient care and accurate pricing and billing.

Updated rules for infrastructure

The updated infrastructure rules call for greater health plan system availability and less frequent periods of downtime. These rules will support care delivery, the patient experience and revenue cycle processing as providers will have more reliable access to data at the time of service.

“CAQH CORE participating organizations are taking on the most pressing and timely administrative issues in healthcare related to prior authorization, telemedicine and delivering better information to providers at the point of care,” said Linda Reed, RN, MBA, senior vice president and chief information officer, St. Joseph’s Health and CAQH CORE board vice chair, in a statement. “Health care stakeholders came together to develop, debate and adopt these important rules, and we expect the benefits to be significant and industry-wide.”

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