Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 106 Part 5.djvu/920

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106 STAT. 4558 PUBLIC LAW 102-573—OCT. 29, 1992 "(1) to assess and identify administrative barriers that hinder the timely payment for services delivered by private contract health services providers to individual Indians by the Service and the Indian Health Service Fiscal Intermediary; "(2) to assess and identify the impact of such delayed payments upon the personal credit histories of individual Indians who have been treated by such providers; and "(3) to determine the most efficient and effective means of improving the Service's contract health services payment system and ensuring the development of appropriate consumer protection policies to protect individual Indians who receive authorized services from private contract health services providers from billing and collection practices, including the development of materieds and programs explaining patients' rights and responsibilities, "(b) The study required by subsection (a) shall— "(1) assess the impact of the existing contract health services regulations and policies upon the ability of the Service and the Indian Health Service Fiscal Intermediary to process, on a timely and efficient basis, the pa3anent of bills submitted by private contract health services providers; "(2) assess the financial and any other burdens imposed upon individual Indians and private contract health services providers by delayed payments; "(3) survey the policies and practices of collection agencies used by contract health services providers to collect payments for services rendered to individual Indians; "(4) identify appropriate changes in Federal poUcies, administrative procedures, and regulations, to eUminate the problems experienced by private contract health services providers and individual Indians as a result of delayed payments; and "(5) compare the Service's pa3anent processing requirements with private insurance claims processing requirements to evaluate the systemic diffierences or similarities employed by the Service and private insurers. R®P<"^- "(c) Not later than 12 months after the date of the enactment of this section, the Secretary shall transmit to the Congress a report that includes— "(1) a detailed description of the study conducted pursuant to this section; and "(2) a discussion of the findings and conclusions of such study. "PROMPT ACTION ON PAYMENT OF CLAIMS 25 USC 16218. "SEC. 220. (a) The Service shall respond to a notification of a claim by a provider of a contract care service with either an individual purchase order or a denial of the claim within 5 working days after the receipt of such notification. "(b) If the Service fails to respond to a notification of a claim in accordance with subsection (a), the Service shall accept as vaUd the claim submitted by the provider of a contract care service. "(c) The Service shall pay a completed contract care service claim within 30 days after completion of the claim.