BAYCARE: Doctors Threaten To Drop IPA
"A dozen doctors from San Francisco and San Mateo counties" have filed a lawsuit against the BayCare Medical Group, claiming that the IPA is paying them "erratically or not at all." In addition, 100 to 200 additional physicians have told Baycare that they will stop treating their patients at the end of the year. The San Mateo County Times reports that BayCare contracts with nearly all the HMOs in the area and provides care for about 63,000 people locally. BayCare says the payment problems are "a housekeeping matter" stemming from its rapid growth. But the doctors say they fear they will be left holding the bag if the IPA declares bankruptcy. BayCare Executive Director Dr. Michael Martin conceded that while doctors may be nervous due to a recent spate of IPA bankruptcies, "BayCare has plenty of money to pay every doctor what he or she is owed." He said, "We got behind on our claims," adding, "We are not going bankrupt." But one local surgeon countered, "It's hard to tell if it's a financial problem or they are truly that incompetent" (Cunningham, 10/1).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.