Richard Blumenthal (D)

HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) -- Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has recommended the state's insurance commissioner seek legislative clarification on an issue involving the payment of out-of-state health care providers.

In a letter to Insurance Commissioner Thomas Sullivan, Blumenthal said while a Connecticut statute requires timely payments be made to in-state health care providers, it is unclear if that statute can be interpreted to also apply to out-of-state providers.

The statute -- Gen. Stat. § 38a-816(15) -- requires health insurance companies to make timely payment to health care providers and imposes a 15 percent late charge on bills that are not paid in a timely manner.

The state's Insurance Department is currently interpreting that statute to include out-of-state providers.

In 2001, the state's General Assembly substantially expanded the categories of health care providers in Public Act 01-111. The provision broadened who would be covered by the timely payment and interest provision on the statute.

However, Blumenthal claims it is unclear whether the legislature intended the expansion of the health care provider definition to include out-of-state providers.

"I recommend that you seek legislative clarification of whether Public Act 01-111 intended the protections afforded by Section 38a-816(15) to apply to health care providers licensed in Connecticut and other states who provide Connecticut residents the types of health care services set forth in Section 38a-816(15)(C)," Blumenthal said.

"Clearly, there are strong public policy reasons for ensuring that all health care providers who provide health care services to Connecticut residents receive timely payment for their services," he added.

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