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New rule for health care billing starts tomorrow in Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Behind the scenes in the medical business in Minnesota, the handling of patients' bills will change on Wednesday.

That's when a new state rule kicks in that will require all health care providers to submit their bills to institutional payers electronically.

The Minnesota Department of Health estimates that when about 60,000 providers go to e-billing it will save about $60 million in administrative costs per year.

The law is directed at bills sent by doctors, clinics, hospitals and other providers to "group purchasers," such as private insurance companies and state health care programs.

However, things won't change much for individual patients. They will still get paper bills sent to their mailboxes.