New York State
Insurance Department


ISSUED: 9/21/99

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 
VYTRA AGREES TO PAY $5,000 FOR PROMPT PAY VIOLATIONS

        Superintendent of Insurance Neil D. Levin today announced that the Department has entered into a stipulation with Vytra Healthcare of Long Island for violations of the state’s Prompt Pay Law and for failure to respond to the Department’s requests for information in a timely manner. Vytra has agreed to pay a $5,000 fine.

        "Prompt pay violations undermine our state's health care system and they will not be tolerated," said Levin "We are vigilant in the fight to ensure the timely payment of claims by health insurers and, where appropriate, we will continue to fine companies that evade the law."

        By signing the stipulation, Vytra also agrees to put corrective measures in place that will ensure compliance with the state’s Prompt Pay Law, and compliance with the standards for timely responses to Department requests for information. Under the law, Vytra must also pay interest on the late claims at the rate of 12 percent per year, or the corporate tax rate that is set by the Commissioner of Taxation and Finance, depending on which is greater.

        The Prompt Pay Law requires all health insurers to pay undisputed health insurance claims within 45 days of receipt -- ensuring the prompt, fair and equitable payment of patient and provider claims. The law includes safeguards against fraud by making exceptions for claims that insurers believe are fraudulent and in cases where the payment obligation on the claim is not immediately clear.

        The Department levied its third round of fines against health insurers and HMOs July 21st for violations of the Prompt Pay Law. So far this year, the Department has imposed fines totaling $186,900 for violations of this law.

        The Department has handled over 38,400 prompt pay complaints since the law went into effect in January 1998. Overall, the Consumer Services Bureau handled more than 60,000 complaints last year from both consumers and providers on various insurance issues. Consumers who have a prompt payment complaint can call the Department’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-358-9260.

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