Sunday, February 17, 2008

Insurance Company Goes Too Far

Recently, a colleague sent me an article from the LA Times that I found worthy of passing on. It seems that California Blue Cross Blue Shield is trying to use doctors to obtain medical information about their policy holders from physicians. Apparently, the insurance company is trying to use the information that could be provided by physicians to cancel policies.

Blue Cross is sending physicians copies of health insurance applications filled out by patients, along with a letter advising them that the company has a right to drop members who fail to disclose "material medical history," including "pre-existing pregnancies." "Any condition not listed on the application that is discovered to be pre-existing should be reported to Blue Cross immediately," the letters say.

Fortunately, it seems that most of the physicians who have received this letter realize that this request violates doctor-patient confidentiality. The California Medical Association has sent a letter to Blue Cross condemning the letter.

Here is a link to the original article:,1,7750785.story

I think that this is an important issue that everyone with heath insurance needs to be aware of. If this is allowed to happen in one State, it is just a matter of time until such letters are circulated to physicians in Arizona. Confidentiality is essential part of the doctor-patient relationship, and it should never be allowed to be violated. If patients feel that they cannot trust their physicians due to fear of their doctor sharing information with insurance companies, who my use then use the info to drop coverage, then our health care system will be severely jeopardized.

At Naturopathic Family Care, your trust is of utmost importance, and you can rest assured that your medical information is safe and secure with us.

Jake Psenka, NMD

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