"Physical therapy is not a subspecialty of the medical profession and physical therapists are not medical doctors; we are a separate profession that provides a unique service that physicians are unable and untrained to provide."

Letter to the AMA from the APTA, Dec 2009

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Anthem BCBS Profiteering and "Irresponsible Behavior"

Sparks flew, feelings were hurt and somebody got their noses rubbed in it in this riveting, nail-biting exchange between the House Commerce Committee on Oversight and Anthem/BCBS CEO Angela Braly and Executive VP Cynthia Miller.

Anthem BCBS is being called on the carpet for their 39% rate hike on the individual California health insurance market.

Some notable moments:

Anthem BCBS posted a "reasonable profit" in 2009 of $2.385 billion

Unadjusted Q4 2009 income of $2.7 billion - before the sale of a pharmacy benefits management company was excluded as a one-time gain.

Ms. Braly's 2009 take-home? $1.1 million salary, $8.5 million in stock options and $730,000 in incentive bonuses.

She made over $10,000,000 in a year where 25,000 ADDITIONAL Californians dropped their health insurance because they were unable to pay for it!

See the video:

Also see these highlights:
  • Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Michigan) spanks the Anthem CEO for the practice of "recission" or as he calls it "purging sick people".
  • Rep. Henry Waxman (D-California) pins Angela Braley's ears back for spending $3 million on meetings at 'a lavish resort in Scottsdale, Arizona'.
  • Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Illinois), in perhaps the most passionate exchange, demands Angela Braly's salary data (see above).
Take home message to Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield:

When the US House of Representatives calls you to explain your profiteering and irresponsible behavior that harms Americans try to present yourself in a humble manner.

Don't lecture the US Congress.

Don't blame the healthcare consumer for being 'unsophisticated'.

Don't blame doctors and hospitals for rising rate increases.

Don't keep getting rich off of sick and dying Americans.

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Tim Richardson, PT owns a private practice at Medical Arts Rehabilitation, Inc in Palmetto, Florida. The clinic website is at MedicalArtsRehab.com.

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Tim has implemented a computerized Clinical Decision Support (CDS) system in his clinic since 2006 that serves as a Reminder, Alerting, Prompting and Predicting CDS using evidence-based tests and measures.

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TimRichPT@BulletproofPT.com .

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