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Reporting on insurers including UnitedHealth, state Blue Cross, Blue Shield, and others points to new programs designed to respond to the financial pressures clinicians are facing during the pandemic.

APTA has yet to receive firsthand confirmation, but articles in trade media and a local newspaper are reporting that a growing number of commercial insurers are speeding up claims payment and offering loan programs.

In an April 9 story published in Modern Healthcare (subscription required), author Shelby Livingston reports that insurers including UnitedHealth Group, Pittsburgh-based Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurer Highmark, Blue Shield of California, and Blue Cross of Idaho are providing services such as advance and expedited payments, loans, and more favorable repayment terms to providers.

A similar story in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune published April 8 included more details on UnitedHealth Group, based in Minnesota, and efforts by other Minnesota insurers. According to that reporting, UnitedHealth is accelerating about $80 million in payments and offering up to $125 million in small business loans.

Commercial insurer efforts aren't limited to loans and claim payment — over the past few weeks an increasing number of payers are allowing PTs to bill for therapy services delivered via face-to-face telehealth.

APTA is pursuing the reports on insurers' new measures and will share information as it becomes available.

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