Women & Infants, Butler, Kent County In Trouble

Women & Infants HospitalI 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.
James Purcell
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.

7 thoughts on “Women & Infants, Butler, Kent County In Trouble”

  1. Rhonda Martin

    I am 6-months pregnant and MUST have my baby at Women and Infants because they are the only high risk obstetrical hospital in RI (the chances of me and my baby surviving at a regular hospital are much lower). I see greed on both sides.
    I was told by an inside source that W & I is trying to stick it to BC because they backed out of paying for the new building. My non-Care New England providers tell me that BC reimburses at a much better rate than the other insurance companies in RI.
    BC assured me when I first became pregnant that there is no additional cost outside of my co-pays. Now, I’m told with this change that I may have to pay $5000 or more. With everything else going on, we simply cannot afford this.
    I find it reprehensible for W & I to send me and other pregnant women a letter asking us to lobby Blue Cross and the state on their behalf.
    Both W & I and BC have put the patient in the middle for monetary gain. It is absolutely reprehensible to tell a pregnant woman that, at 7 1/2 months pregnant, after Dec. 31st, she will have to change her medical team and hospital (the closest comparable obstetrical care is in Boston) OR pay through the nose to deliver her baby because the two parties cannot come to an agreement because of GREED.

    The state really needs to broker a settlement. We’ve paid taxes for years- the state needs to earn that money.
    I just want to have my baby in peace.

  2. Hi,
    As a member of Blue Cross Blue Shield of RI it is very important to me and a lot of people I know that Blue Cross Blue Shield of RI not discontinue service with the Care New England hospitals. Please don’t let them do this, or I will be forced to look for my medical elsewhere, as will a lot of other people I know.
    Thank you,
    Beth Mc Donald

  3. How can someone preface an “article” entitled “W & I, Butler and Kent in trouble” then, in the FIRST sentence write “I can’t pretend that I know anything at all about the health care industry……”

    BCBSRI’s mission is descirbed as “…provide members with peace of mind and improved health by representing them in their pursuit of affordable, high quality healthcare”….

    Since the author knows nothing, (admittedly), about health care, how can he not look at the situation as being the fault of the hospitals in question? Perhaps they should offer their services for free, then everyone can be happy? Has the author considered the rationale that since patients pay premiums, that those patients cannot in fact afford to stay in those hospitals? Does the auther even know what the hospitals are asking for?

    Without proposing any solution or thought on a solution, I find this author incredibly uninformed and his work useless.

  4. “Or the only hospital between Providence and Westerly.”

    I hope you’re exaggerating! Some of us are pretty partial to South County Hospital!


    James Purcell,
    we want continued access to Kent County Hospital, please deny the Blue Cross material madification request.

    I ask you, what are the people in Rhode Island to do, with this bad choice?

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