KPC: Blue Shield, Cigna Withdraw Thousands of Patients
Citing concerns about Anaheim-based KPC Medical Management's "ability to provide health care," Blue Shield of California and Cigna announced Wednesday that they are withdrawing thousands of patients from the financially troubled doctors' group, the Orange County Register reports. In a letter to 15,000 members, Blue Shield said it canceled its KPC contract on July 3 and would assign patients to new doctors. "This is a decision we made with great reluctance because it is very disruptive," Blue Shield spokesperson Laura Perry said. Cigna, whose 94,000 patients comprise more than 11% of KPC's patients, said it will shift 18,000 of its Orange County members to other medical groups. Prospect Medical Group will absorb about 4,000 Cigna patients and 1,000 Blue Shield members. Prospect Vice President for Business Development Peter Goll said his group has been contacted by other plans as well about taking on extra patients from KPC. Bryn Henderson, an Orange County health care consultant, said the move probably signifies "the beginning of the end for KPC," noting, "What this means ... is that a major insurer has determined there is more risk to patients in maintaining contracts with KPC than in terminating them" (Wolfson/Heisel, 7/20).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.