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Doctors Find It Easier to Do Business with Humana Than Any Other Insurance Company, Study Shows

Category:

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 11:02 am EDT

Dateline:

LOUISVILLE, Ky.

Public Company Information:

NYSE:
HUM
US4448591028
"There is less time spent navigating through red tape and more time spent on delivering care, which is as it should be."
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 30, 2006--Humana Inc. (NYSE:HUM) came out on top among national payers in an index created to measure the performance of health benefits companies when paying medical claims, according to criteria important to doctors. The index was created by Physicians Practice, a respected medical journal, and athenahealth, a medical service and software provider that handles millions of claims annually.

The "PayerView Index" includes seven criteria, such as how quickly an insurer pays, number of claims paid on first submission, denial rate, the number of phone calls required to a resolve an issue and the number of claims that are simply lost. Athenahealth describes the index as measuring, overall, whether an insurance company is "easy to do business with."

The index's creators reviewed more than 5 million lines of data from the fourth quarter of 2005 to draw their conclusions.

Once the numbers were analyzed, Humana was the top performer with a total index score of 93 percent. Humana ranked highest in the "Days in Accounts Receivable" category, which is essentially a measurement of how quickly an insurer pays claims. Humana also was lauded for misplacing fewer claims than its competitors.

Medicare Part B was second overall at 92.1 percent.

The results are being published in the June issue of Physician's Practice. They also can be found on the Web at www.athenaPayerView.com.

"Humana is committed to becoming the best payer with which to do business. The Athena data results confirm our goal is becoming a reality," said Bruce Perkins, Humana's senior vice president of national contracting. "We understand the importance of paying providers accurately and quickly. Reducing administrative complexity in the health care system plays a large role in the accuracy and timeliness of the payment process, which is where our efforts are squarely focused."

The use of technology played an important role in making sure providers could more easily access claims information from Humana.

"We have taken several key technology steps to drive speed and simplicity in our claims payment processes," said Bruce J. Goodman, Humana's senior vice president and chief service and information officer. "Our state-of-the art administration system provides several advantages for today's business. Among these are real-time capabilities and integrated e-business support, which we enhanced to provide substantial Web connectivity services for providers. In addition, through a joint venture with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, Inc. (BCBSF) we established Availity L.L.C., now one of the largest national clearinghouses. We are leveraging the real-time capabilities of the Availity Gateway to deliver more responsive service to providers in a number of areas. Humana's top ranking in the 'PayerView Index' recognizes our commitment to advance administrative simplicity and to continue delivering service excellence to our provider community."

The ranking, however, has ramifications beyond Humana's relationship with its contracted providers.

"When the doctor has a better experience with the insurance company, then the patient is likely to have a better experience, too," said Perkins. "There is less time spent navigating through red tape and more time spent on delivering care, which is as it should be."

Humana hopes to further support the relationship between physicians and patients through other recent initiatives, including SmartSummary(SM), a comprehensive health care report that should open a dialogue between doctors and patients about treatment options, medication and costs.

About Humana

Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is one of the nation's largest publicly traded health benefits companies, with approximately 9.3 million medical members. Humana offers a diversified portfolio of health insurance products and related services - through traditional and consumer-choice plans - to employer groups, government-sponsored plans, and individuals.

Over its 45-year history, Humana has consistently seized opportunities to meet changing customer needs. Today, the company is a leader in consumer engagement, providing guidance that leads to lower costs and a better health plan experience throughout its diversified customer portfolio.

More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the company's web site at http://www.humana.com, including copies of:

-- Annual report to stockholders;

-- Securities and Exchange Commission filings;

-- Most recent investor conference presentation;

-- Quarterly earnings news releases;

-- Replays of most recent earnings release conference call;

-- Calendar of events (includes upcoming earnings conference call dates, times, and access number, as well as planned interaction with institutional investors);

-- Corporate Governance Information.

Contact:

Humana Inc., Louisville
Dick Brown, 502-580-3683
dbrown4@humana.com
www.humana.com