HealthNet Drops Local Hospital From network
HealthNet announced last week that they have not been able to come to “terms” Westchester Hospital Medical Center in Westchester, NY and they are removing them from their network. A letter from HealthNet is forthcoming to all participants in early February. Last year Blue Cross was very active ‘punting’ various hospitals from their network also due to “non-negotiable” terms. I think about 5 major hospitals in the tri-state area no longer accept Blue Cross as of 2008.
This whole fiasco seems to come about by the insurance carriers trying to intimidate hospitals and medical groups to and give more money to the insurance carriers for medical services they provide. And when the hospitals and doctors won’t play ball, the insurance carriers forfeit the game.
In my view this is corporate greed at it’s best. It seems the insurance companies are out of control and are left un-regulated to pretty much do as they please. In the midst of the worst economy downturn last year where people were getting laid off, watching their life savings erode and losing their homes, the insurance carriers thought it was still okay to raise their rates on average by 18%. This type of punishment from the insurance carriers is not what we need in these troubled times. I don’t have an answer on how to solve this mess but being on the “inside” where we sell group health insurance to small businesses, it is truly horrific to watch business owners and employees ask, “how can we afford this?”