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Patient Information & Resources : BCBS News
Important News about Blue Cross Blue Shield
Recent Updates on BCBS situation:
We have been granted a 60 day extension to all established patients prior to December 1, 2011.
We are in-network with BC/BS till May 1st, only for patients before December 1, 2011. We are still actively negotiating with Blue Cross Blue Shield, but we will not sign a contract that puts our patients privacy at risk.
PATIENTS AND FAMILY MEMBERS
PLEASE HELP US COLLECT INFORMATION ABOUT HOW BLUE CROSS CHANGES WILL AFFECT YOU & YOUR FAMILY
COMPLETE A SURVEY
AND SIGN A PETITION
ASK FOR BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD
TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE AND IN COMPLIANCE
WITH THE MENTAL HEALTH PARITY ACT
- Letter to President Obama Read Dr. Johnson’s letter to President Obama. Dr. Johnson describes the changes that BC/BS is instituting on December 1st and the attempts we have made to fight those changes.
- Florida Psychiatric Society letter to Dr. Gavras of BCBS Florida
- Article in Psychiatric News - BCBS enacts parity-defying plan changes that could jeopardize participants and providers
- Article October 13, 2011
Psychology organizations assert parity violation by major Florida insurerAPAPO and Florida Psychological Association argue that large reimbursement rate cut by BCBS Florida violates federal parity law
- BCBS October 5, 2011 Parity Letter
- Read Dr. Johnson's letter to the editor of the Gainesville Sun.
He addresses the BC/BS mental health coverage changes, the stigma about mental illness, and the indifference of our government and media.
Letter sent to the Gainesville Sun
On December 1, Blue Cross Blue Shield plans to profoundly change your mental health care. They are terminating all current BCBS mental health providers and will hand your mental health care over to New Directions; a managed care company that functions much like an HMO.
There is still a possibility that BCBS can be stopped from moving ahead with their plan. All of the Florida mental health organizations are actively opposing these BCBS actions.
What We're Doing:
Under these confusing and uncertain conditions, we want you to have all the information you need to decide what is best for you and your family. Our staff is available to answer all of your questions. Your provider will also talk to you about how to meet your individual treatment needs.
What You Can Do:
We believe that BCBS is both discriminating against individuals seeking mental health services and violating the rules of the Mental Health Parity Act. There are many ways that you can join with us in opposing BCBS in this matter. The documents below lists some of the actions you might take to have your voice heard.
- Read our Letter to Patients and Addendum.
- Complete a Survey & Sign a Petition >
- Write to your representative! Update: October 12, 2011
The American Psychiatric Association filed an appeal to the federal government on August 25 (see link below). So far, they have not responded; however, it is still possible that action will be taken before December 1.
The more of us who write letters to key national politicians, the more likely we are to be heard. I recommend that we focus letter writing to:
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500
Senator Bill Nelson
United States Senate
716 Senate Hart Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Former President Bill Clinton
The Honorable William J Clinton
55 W 125th Street
New York, NY 10027
Remember, the best letters describe how this will affect you / your family personally. Keep checking our websites for updates. View a sample letter for writing to your legislators >
- You can get a copy of the lawsuit being filed against BCBS.
News, Resources and additional Information:
- Overview of BCBS situation
- Detailed information about the BCBS situation
- FPS Letter to Dr Gavras of BCBS Florida
- BCBS October 5, 2011 Parity Letter
- Letter directly sent by Parity Implementation Coalition directly to Federal regulators
- The lawsuit being filed against BCBS
- News Release 9-11-2011
- Sample letter to representatives
New article published in Mental Health Weekly: Florida Providers Await Federal Response Over Termination of Local Contracts
Providers are waiting to hear from the federal agencies responsible for enforcing the federal parity law regarding BCBS termination of their contracts.
New Gaineville Sun Article: Stigmatizing mental health assistance
Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Florida is the major health plan insurer for UF employees. It will soon terminate its contracts with mental health care providers of psychologist, psychiatrist, and outpatient management services.
Parity Implementation Coalition requests federal intervention in Florida BCBS case Newsletter Article from Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly September 5, 2011
Big insurer shakes up mental-health field
Some mental health providers say they will no longer treat Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Florida patients in light of a “surprising” letter they received from the company last week. The letter announces that the insurer will terminate contracts with behavioral health providers by Nov. 30 and turn over management to a Kansas-based managed care company, New Directions Behavioral Health.
Will Record Surpluses Among Not-for-Profit Blues Plans Trigger Price Wars in 2011? (with Table: Not-for-Profit Blues Plans Hold $27 Billion in Excess Capital)
Record surpluses amassed by not-for-profit Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans during the first nine months of 2010 could be used to price products more aggressively next year. And that could put pressure on competitors to hold down their rates or risk losing market share, according to one equities analyst.