UC-IRVINE II: Will Drop Four Medicare HMOs by Year’s End
Nearly 600 seniors in Orange County will need to find new doctors by the end of the year, as the University of California-Irvine Medical Center confirmed yesterday that it will drop four of its "money-losing Medicare HMO contracts" when they expire in November and December, the Orange County Register reports. UCI plans to drop its Blue Shield 65 Plus plan effective Nov. 30, and seniors enrolled in Aetna's Golden Medicare plan, Foundation Health System's Health Net Seniority Plus and Seniority point-of-service plans, will need to find new providers by the end of the year. Only those who switch to traditional fee-for-service Medicare will be able to continue treatment with UCI physicians. UCI Spokesperson Susan Rayburn said, "It was a business decision based on the really unfavorable reimbursement from the health plans. To remain a viable entity we have to make these hard decisions." Last year, UCI received $3.2 million from Medicare HMOs but spent more than $4 million treating the 600 enrollees (Crabtree, 10/1). Click here for recent California Healthline coverage of hard times for Medicare HMOs.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.