Blessing Hospital adjusts billing practices for state employees

Blessing Hospital in Quincy says it will change the hospital billing practices for State of Illinois employees who are on the state's insurance plan.

Blessing says it recently got notice from the state that insurance payments involving claims on the state's insurance plan would take about 10 months to process.

Blessing will now bill those employees for their portion of care according to the Explanation of Benefits, before rather than after the State pays its portion.

Blessing decided to make the change to help those covered under the state's insurance plan and participate in Flexible spending programs that use pre-tax dollars to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses. If not used in a specific timeframe, Flexible spending contributions are forfeited to the Internal Revenue Service. The Stateâ??s growing payment delay put those employees and their Flexible spending contributions at risk.

"We wanted to be responsive to our patients and family needs in this regard. When we became aware that the state was going to defer payment even further out, we felt it was responsible in order to help them manage their financial obligation," Blessing Hospital Vice President of Finance Tim Moore said.

The change in the billing will take effect immediately.

Moore said between reimbursements for Medicaid and the state of Illinois employee insurance claims, the state owes Blessing hospital between 12 and 15 million dollars.