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Anthem Blue Cross Cuts Therapists’ Rates

Audio

Aired 2/16/10

Patients who are covered by Anthem Blue Cross may have trouble finding a physical or occupational therapist who will accept their insurance. A growing number of therapists are rejecting new contracts with Anthem that pay them half of their normal rate.

— Patients who are covered by Anthem Blue Cross may have trouble finding a physical or occupational therapist who will accept their insurance. A growing number of therapists are rejecting new contracts with Anthem that pay them half of their normal rate.

Anthem has offered the new lower-rate contracts to physical, occupational, and speech therapists. The insurer says it's cutting the reimbursement rate to help control rising health care costs.

Dr. Jennifer Souders is a physical therapist in North County. Sounders says the new offer is an insult.

"Basically, I can't even bring the patient in through the door for what Blue Cross is offering," Souders complains. "So I can't sign a contract that wouldn't allow me as a business owner to even cover my costs to provide the care."

Souders says many of her colleagues are also refusing to sign the new contract. That means a growing number of Blue Cross members may have to pay out-of-network costs to see a physical therapist.

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