Insurers cut doctors' fees in new health plans

Published on November 23, 2013 at 10:42 PM · No Comments

Insurers are reducing payments to medical practices in many of the plans they sell through the new health-law marketplaces, raising concerns that enrollees will have fewer doctors to choose from if low fees spark an exodus. Meanwhile, The Los Angeles Times reports that the success of the law depends in part on the actions of insurance companies, doctor groups and hospitals, all of whom are financially vested in it.

The Wall Street Journal: Insurers Cut Doctors' Fees in New Health-Care Plans
Insurers are slashing payments to medical practices in many of the plans they sell through the new health-law marketplaces-;sparking worries that Americans signing up for coverage will have fewer doctors to choose from if low fees spark an exodus from the plans.  UnitedHealth Group Inc. sent some New York City physicians contract amendments as recently as this month setting rates well below what doctors normally see from private insurance, including less than $40 for a typical office visit and about $20 for reading a mammogram, according to confidential documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal (Weaver and Beck, 11/21).

Earlier, related KHN coverage: Doctors Complain They Will Be Paid Less By Exchange Plans, (Rabin, 11/19).

Los Angeles Times: Healthcare Industry Vested In Success Of Obamacare
President Obama's healthcare law, struggling to survive its botched rollout, now depends more than ever on insurance companies, doctor groups and hospitals -; major forces in the industry that are committed to the law's success despite persistent tensions with the White House  (Levey, 11/21).

PBS NewsHour: How Has The Affordable Care Act Affected You?
The PBS NewsHour set out to explore reactions to the Affordable Care Act and its online marketplaces. We found people who are benefitting from the expanded protections and health coverage of the law -- and listened to those who are angry over insurance cancellations. We talked to Mary Agnes Carey of Kaiser Health News, Julie Rovner of NPR and health policy analyst Susan Dentzer to help us put those stories into the broader context of the law (11/21).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.


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