Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Blue Cross-Outrageous Behavior
Blue Cross Insurance has now sunk to a new low. They have written letters to their "preferred providers" (I resigned from being 'preferred' years ago!) asking them to inform on patients who had preexisting conditions so they could rescind a patient's health care coverage.
The insurer is sending letters to doctors with the patient's insurance application, asking doctors to tell them immediately if the patient is seen for any condition they didn't disclose on the application. The letters say, “We ask your assistance to identify medical omissions because you, being the primary care provider, will have first-hand knowledge of services provided and/or requested.” This includes pregnancy and any other condition not disclosed.
The California Medical Association (CMA) has urged State Regulators to immediately order Blue Cross of California to stop. Asking doctors to share private health information with insurers is probably unlawful, unethical and disturbs the doctor patient relationship.
Wellpoint is the parent company of Blue Cross in many states, including California. Is it not enough that Wellpoint reported $61 billion in revenues for 2007? According to Business Week , Larry Glasscock, CEO of Wellpoint collected $46.2 million in total compensation in 2005. That's a nice hunk of change and it is now 2008. Their profits continue to rise. Are Doctors now expected to be informers for Blue Cross underwriting department?
Blue Cross states it is sending the letters to keep costs "at a minimum." Yes, those damn patients with medical costs certainly do eat into profits!
Posted by Toni Brayer, MD at 1:38 PM