Insurance proposal could shift pay burden on ER visits

January 27, 2019, Daily Journal, Michaela Gibson Morris - A group of emergency physicians is sounding alarms, but Blue Cross says there’s no fire. The state and national chapters of the American College of Emergency Physicians are taking issue with Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi, saying a proposed policy will decide the severity of medical emergencies after the fact and leave hospitals, doctors and patients on the hook for uncovered expenses. “Health insurance companies can’t expect patients to know which symptoms are life-threatening,” said Dr. Philip Levin, president of the Mississippi chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians. At issue is a bulletin sent in December by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi to network providers. The Blue Cross update noted that in 2019, the insurer would be monitoring and evaluating how emergency visits were coded for severity and ensuring they were aligned with the severity of the diagnosis code submitted.

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