Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island, in an annual study of health insurer performance among ambulatory providers, scored highest out of 137 national, regional and government payers in 43 states. As in previous years, Medicaid plans litter the bottom third with Pennsylvania this year scoring last.

Overall, health insurers in 2009 paid physicians on average seven days faster and denied 12 percent to 18 percent fewer claims than in the previous year, according to the 2010 PayerView Rankings from athenahealth Inc., Watertown, Mass. The company offers outsourced billing/collections services bundled with practice management and electronic health records software. It has conducted the PayerView survey for five years based on data accumulated from clients. Data in the study totaled 41 million medical charge lines in 2009 from more than 23,000 providers.

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