East Texas Patients Confused By Insurance Changes - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/7/02 - Tyler

East Texas Patients Confused By Insurance Changes

   Dr. Monique Mills with Apple Tree Pediatric says there's only one way to explain why handfuls of East Texas doctors are no longer accepting Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance, "Blue Cross is taking money out of our pocket by cutting back on the amount they're reimbursing us for services we provide to our patients."

   As the cost of health care goes up, doctors like Monique say they barely break even on services.   When Blue Cross re-negotiated a new contract with East Texas doctors, they purposed smaller doctor reimbursements in a "take it or leave it" option.

   Now, patients like Joanne Valliere are caught in the middle of a medical mess--searching for a new way to pay for the doctor she's come to trust or find another, "It's terrible that I have to think that my precious children have to be taken care of by somebody else."

   While Joanne says she feels caught in the middle of a big dollar argument in which she has no voice, "I feel like my rights have been taken away to choose, " she tells. "I feel like these people don't see how the small people work everyday to pay for these benefits."

   Channel Seven News was unable to reach a representative with the Blue Cross Blue Shield office in Dallas. However, local doctors told us Blue Cross says their fees had not been modified for nine years and needed to be restructured.

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