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The AMA today released its sixth annual check-up of health insurers and their patterns for processing and paying medical claims. Visit to access full results of the 2013 AMA National Health Insurer Report Card (NHIRC). The AMA today also unveiled its new Administrative Burden Index (ABI), a component of the NHIRC, to rank commercial health insurers according to the level of unnecessary cost they contribute to the billing and payment of medical claims. The AMA found that administrative tasks associated with avoidable errors, inefficiency and waste in the medical claims process resulted in an average ABI cost per claim of $2.36 for physicians and insurers. 

The AMA estimates that $12 billion a year could be saved if insurers eliminated unnecessary administrative tasks with automated systems for processing and paying medical claims. This savings represents 21 percent of total administrative costs that physicians spend to ensure accurate payments from insurers.

“The high administrative costs associated with the burdens of processing medical claims annually should not be accepted as the price of doing business with health insurers,” said AMA Board Member Barbara L. McAneny, M.D. “The AMA is a strong advocate of an automated approach for processing medical claims that will save precious health care dollars and free physicians from needless administrative tasks that take time away from patient care.”