The current scrutiny of health insurance company billing practices has revealed many questionable practices around billing. But a new one has surfaced that is indeed novel: adding a surcharge for processing a payment that actually saves the insurers money in the first place.

A recent article in the publication Pro Publica revealed that health insurers now impose a fee of 1.5% to 5% on doctors who are paid electronically. The fees are ironic because the same insurers virtually forced doctors to accept electronic payment rather than checks, because electronic payments were cheaper to process.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.