BC of California set to cut physician payments

Blue Cross of California (BCC) is making a move that won't do much to improve its popularity with physicians--it's cutting payments for about half the services and procedures performed by its physicians. True, some physicians may actually do better, particularly primary care physicians, but many others will face lower fees.  The plan, for its part, says it wants to pay physicians at "sustainable levels." Doctors, meanwhile, say BCC's new rates will dip below Medicare's already low reimbursement levels, in some cases failing to even cover their expenses.

While most of the 53,408 physicians in BCC's PPO are merely grumbling and waiting things out, more than 300 have sent notices to the plan threatening to leave its network if it persists in its plans. 

One has to question BCC's timing for the cuts, as well, given that the insurer faces a public hearing in early August examining its business practices in the wake of its 2004 acquisition by WellPoint.

To find out more about BCC's current plans:
- read this Los Angeles Times piece

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