Issa argued in his letter that President Barack Obama's promise that individuals will be able to keep their doctors under the federal healthcare reform law is being undermined by such changes. He refers to it as “access shock.”
“Even among the individuals fortunate enough to keep their plans, many Americans are finding that access to their preferred doctor(s) is being abruptly terminated,” Issa wrote.
The letter was sent to Aetna, Humana, Cigna, WellPoint and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, among others. Issa is seeking documents identifying the number of providers dropped from networks. He is also requesting communication from Obama administration officials indicating that insurers would need to re-evaluate provider networks because of the ACA. Issa is seeking a response by Dec. 13.
The letter surfaces as another House panel is scheduled to address shrinking provider networks for Medicare Advantage plans. On Wednesday, the Energy and Commerce Committee's subcommittee on health, chaired by Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pa., will scrutinize the issue.
Among the panelists scheduled to testify are Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office who is now president of the conservative American Action Forum, and Joe Baker, president of the Medicare Rights Center.
Follow Paul Demko on Twitter: @MHpdemko