Blue Shield of California’s Decision to Drop Three San Jose Hospitals Angers Patients, Physicians
Doctors and patients in the San Jose area are "fuming" over Blue Shield of California's decision to "drop" three hospitals from its network after a dispute over reimbursement rates, the San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times reports. About 75,000 Blue Shield member have been affected by the contract dispute with San Jose Medical Center, Regional Medical Center of San Jose and Good Samaritan Hospital. The Mercury News/Times reports that patients are "caught in a squeeze" between the two sides, and are "finding their options for treatment narrowing dramatically." Physicians also are unhappy, saying that Blue Shield is "compromis[ing] patient care by eliminating hospitals" from the network. However, representatives for Blue Shield say "patient care has not suffered" because of the insurer's decision to drop the three hospitals. Meanwhile, many patients have decided not to switch doctors, according to Leslie Kelsay, a spokesperson for the three hospitals. She said, "Almost 100% of [Blue Shield] patients are still choosing our hospitals because of their relationship with physicians and the facility." However, those patients who do continue with their current physicians at the hospitals will pay more for their care (Coren, San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times, 7/22).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.