Collision Billing Services Launches Claims Database for the Collision Industry - BodyShop Business
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Collision Billing Services Launches Claims Database for the Collision Industry

The database will track what repairs, rates and materials have been charged to an insurer and what payment has been made by an insurer on the consumer’s behalf. CBS will use the information to help repairers to obtain payment for legitimate charges.

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Collision Billing Services (CBS) announced the launch of its Claims Database to assist the collision industry in obtaining payment for all of the charges relating to the repairs of customers’ vehicles. The Claims Database was created to track information submitted by subscribers to document what repairs, rates and materials have been charged and what payment has been made by an insurer on the consumer’s behalf.  

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CBS says it will use the information to track the procedures, materials, rates and costs paid on the invoice, as well as those charges that were not paid. The database identifies each specific insurer’s practices and enables CBS to utilize the information to assist repairers to obtain payment for legitimate charges and to provide reporting to state departments of insurance and other agencies regarding insurers’ practices.

“We know, for example, that some auto insurers are playing games with labor rates by paying shops lump sum amounts entered as manual generic entries on the insurer’s estimate or supplement, rather than openly acknowledging the additional money represents an increase in the shop’s labor rate,” said Erica Eversman, counsel and a member of CBS. “This tactic allows insurers to claim that shops are continuing to accept low labor rates, when they know the evidence supporting these claims is artificial and manufactured by them. For companies demanding ‘transparency’ from others, these auto insurers don’t appear to provide transparency in their own actions. The only way to demonstrate this duplicity is by tracking the information on repairer charges and insurers’ claims payment by an entity wholly independent of the insurance industry.”

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Beyond enabling shops to use tools provided by the Claims Database, CBS says it "levels the playing field" by identifying if an insurer is denying a charge’s reimbursement for the consumer as a widespread practice or if the insurer is simply focused on refusing to pay one or a small group of repair facilities. With CBS tracking repair facility charges, the group believes insurance companies will no longer be able to unjustly assert to the shop that, “You’re the only one charging for that.”

“We saw the need to create a solution for many of the collision industry’s issues over proper payment that allows shops to participate without running afoul of antitrust or other laws,” said Chuck Gosney, president of CBS. “While launching and working with our Full Billing Services clients, we saw how thinly supported insurer arguments were as to why they refused to pay for legitimate charges and realized we could expand the database we developed to enable it to become a large and powerful resource for body shops and their customers.”

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The Claims Database enables subscriber shops to send their blueprints for repair and repair invoices to CBS electronically along with the insurance company final estimate and payment information. CBS compiles that information to track which procedures, operations, materials, rates and administrative costs were charged and which were paid.  

Shops also can submit requests to CBS during a repair if an issue arises to identify other repair jobs where the same or other insurers have paid for the activity or for which other repair facilities have also charged. CBS sends the information to the insurer with confirmation to the repairer identifying the insurer has paid for the same charge, other insurers that have paid for the charge, or other collision repairers who also charge for the activity.

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All collision repair facilities are welcome to participate in this new service, whether independent shops or ones with one or more direct repair affiliations. Many insurers use the practices of their direct repair shops — which are usually dictated by a written arrangement between the repairer and insurer about what may be charged — to substantiate denials of legitimate charges to independent shops, according to CBS, and often, insurers will pay their network shops for activities they refuse to pay independents. 

“If shops have agreed with insurers not to charge for certain activities, that is their own business decision,” said Eversman. “But that fact should not be used against other shops that receive no benefit from the arrangement with an insurer. Our mission is to provide fair, reliable data of activities charged by collision repairers and insurer practices paying or not paying for those charges on behalf of consumers.”

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More information:

Claims Billing Services

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