IN RESPONSE TO BCBS CONCERNS
To Our Valued Members,
We are very aware that many of you have been frustrated about recent events occurring with Blue Cross Blue Shield. In July, BCBS sent letters to many providers and clinics in Minnesota informing them of an overpayment for services. These letters went on to say that due to the overpayment being done in error, BCBS is going to be recouping that money from the provider.
Many of you have voiced concerns to colleagues in person, through email, and on Facebook. We want you to know that MAMFT hears you and we understand your concern. We have been working with BCBS directly on this issue. Representatives from the social work, behavioral health, psychology, and marriage and family therapy communities are all aware of these concerns as well as many representatives from other affected or concerned agencies or associations such as NAMI.
Even though we are still working with BCBS on this issue, we are aware they recently sent invoices asking providers to pay back any overpayment received during a 10-month period from September 2016 through July of 2017. Some of you have shared that your invoice had inconsistencies or was vague or confusing. We do not want to interpret the letters that were sent out, therefore we encourage you all to utilize the email address they included in the letters to ask any questions or receive specific clarification for yourself or your clinic. BCBS has told us that providers can email them to setup a payment plan, get detailed information on what claims are attached to the invoice repayment, and any other questions you may have. That email address is :BHQuestions@bluecrossmn.
In addition to emailing BCBS, many of you feel the need to seek other resources or support outside of BCBS to address the situation and we understand that need as well. The following is a list of people/resources you may want to consider contacting.
- MN Department of Commerce
One of the most effective ways you can voice your concerns is to file a complaint with the MN Department of Commerce. Other professional associations are encouraging their members to do this as well. There is power in numbers and therefore, the more people that file a complaint, the better chance the department will take the complaints seriously. This issue has a large impact on the community and affects consumers of mental health services as well as the providers of mental health services. Please encourage your friends and colleagues to voice their complaints as well. Click here for step-by-step instructions on filing a complaint.
- Your Senate and House Representative
In order to find your local representative and their contact info, please click on the following link: www.gis.leg.mn/iMaps/districts/.
- MN Office of the Attorney General (Lori Swanson)
Lori Swanson can be reached at (651) 296-3353 or (800) 657-3787. If you would like to file a complaint with their office, you can go to their website and fill out a “Consumer Assistance Request Form”. That website is: www.ag.state.mn.us/Office/ContactUs.asp.
- The Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Health (Dr. Edward Ehlinger)
Edward Ehlinger’s office number is 651-201-5810.
- The MN Better Business Bureau
Phone number: 651-699-1111
- Your own professional legal counsel (if you have one) may also be able to review contracts, review the communications from BCBS, and give specific feedback regarding your business.
Please reach out to any of the above resources as you see fit. Send letters, make phone calls, send emails, etc. Please be sure to let them know how this will affect the community and your clients in addition to the affects it will have on businesses in Minnesota. Be persistent but try to stay calm and focused so that your message will have a greater chance of being heard.
If we hear of additional helpful information, we will do our best to pass that information along quickly. Something of this magnitude has an impact on our MFT community as well as the public that we all serve, and we do not take that lightly. Please do not hesitate to contact MAMFT if you have more questions or concerns for us (please direct BCBS specific questions directly to the email listed above) at email@example.com.
Megan Oudekerk, PsyD, LMFT, RPT-S
President Elect of MAMFT
- Below are some recent reports on parity that may be helpful.