Falling behind in the payment game. Providers are feeling squeezed by HMOs that don't pay on time and keep changing the rules.

When hospitals provide services, they naturally expect to be paid. But providers are waiting longer and longer for payment from HMOs, sometimes 90 to 120 days, putting the squeeze on cash flow. The problem has led states to enact prompt-payment laws. Health plans defend their record, saying hospitals' billing mistakes and antiquated computer systems are… CONTINUE READING