Blue Cross of California quickly halted its practice of sending letters to doctors asking them to report conditions it could use to cancel new patients medical coverage after a widespread wave of criticism.
The move announced Feb. 12 by the states largest for-profit health insurer came just hours after revelations in the Los Angeles Times that the company was sending the letters, prompting outcry from doctors, patients, the governor and even presidential candidates.
Today we reached out to our provider partners and California regulators and determined this letter is no longer necessary and, in fact, was creating a misimpression and causing some members and providers undue concern, according to a Blue Cross. As a result, we are discontinuing the dissemination of this letter going forward.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called the letter outrageous and described the practice as asking doctors to rat out the patients. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said the Blue Cross effort was another example of how insurance companies spend tens of billions of dollars a year figuring out how to avoid covering people with health insurance.
Blue Cross is one of several California insurers that have been criticized for issuing policies without checking applications and then canceling coverage after patients run up major medical costs. The practice of canceling coverage is under scrutiny by state regulators, lawmakers and the courts. -- by the Associated Press
What do you think? Post a comment on this article and share your opinion with other readers. Submit your letter to Modern Healthcare Online at [email protected]. Please be sure to include your hometown and state, along with your organization and title.