I can’t pretend that I know anything at all about the health care industry except to say that it sort of scares me, and usually I think insurance companies and hospitals are both greedy so-and-so’s. But my pregnant best friend forwarded me an e-mail yesterday that Blue Cross may end their contracts with Care New England, which owns Women & Infants, Butler, and Kent County hospitals (and the VNA). Which means that the largest insurance company out there (not to mention the one with the highest premiums) will not cover you if you want to go to the hospital where, say, 80% of the state’s babies are born. Or the hospital with the national reputation for mental health services. Or the only hospital between Providence and Westerly.
Here’s a link to the ProJo story and the hospitals’ word on the matter. If you want to write a letter to Blue Cross or the Department of Health (who gets to say whether Blue Cross can actually do this or not), write to the people after the jump (although the Health Department’s only accepting written comments until Thursday, so do it now.)
(By the way, I have no idea what Blue Cross’s rationale is on this; they can’t afford to stay in three of the biggest hospitals in the state because they’re moving their downtown headquarters about four blocks away?)
These names are taken from the Care New England website, by the way.
1. Call, write or email James Purcell, President and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island.
President and CEO
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island
444 Westminster Street
Providence, RI 02903
We thank you for your understanding, and we ask for your support at this critical time. There is much at stake.
2. Write the Rhode Island Department of Health, tell them you want continued access to the Care New England hospitals and VNA, and ask them to deny the Blue Cross material modification request. Written comments must be received at the Health Department by November 13.
Fernanda M.A. da Costa
Chief, Office of Managed Care Regulation
RI Department of Health
3 Capitol Hill, Room 410
Providence, RI 02908
3. Talk with your employer. Tell them you want the Care New England hospitals in the Blue Cross network. Blue Cross will listen to businesses in the area because they pay expensive premiums every month and they deserve value for their dollar.
4. Write a letter to the editor. Send a letter to the editor of your local paper, and let people know how important it is for the Care New England hospitals to be in the Blue Cross network and for Blue Cross to pay hospitals and doctors fairly.
5. Tell a friend. Spread the word and share the facts.
6. Let us hear from you. Use the form below to ask a question, tell us of your specific concern or to express your support of the hospitals and the VNA.
It is our primary goal to resolve our contract issues with Blue Cross to avoid this problem altogether. We will continue to work hard to reach an agreement with Blue Cross to prevent any disruption in care for our patients. That’s our commitment to you.