Wellpoint plans to cut Calif. reimbursement

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Wellpoint, the Indianapolis-based parent company of Blue Cross of California (BCC), is cutting payments for about half the services and procedures performed by physicians in its BCC network. Under the proposed rates, due to go into effect next month, primary care physicians will likely see an overall increase in reimbursement, while specialty physicians will see a decrease in payments, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times.

The paper reported that some service-line reimbursements are being cut to BCC’s preferred provider organization (PPO) physicians by up to one-third. Some physicians in the network are planning to leave the organization, while others are planning to bill their BCC patients for the difference in reimbursement from the payor and the actual cost of providing treatment.