Thursday, May 25, 2017

Premier Health fires back

Last we looked, local healthcare behemoth Premier health and health insurance biggie UHC had parted ways:

"As of yesterday (April 30), folks with either individual or group medical plans from UHC are no longer able to receive services at Premier Health facilities at negotiated rates"

This was significant because a lot of folks in this area count on Premier Health doc's and hospitals for health-related services. The stated roadblock was (no surprise) cost-related. Earlier, UHC had claimed that "Premier is one of the most expensive health systems in Southwestern Ohio." On the one hand, that doesn't really say a lot: after all, you (generally) get what you pay for. On the other hand, of course, carriers are always on the lookout for cost-savings opportunities (NTTAWWT).

Anyway, we promised to keep our readers "in the loop," and the other day we received a letter from Premier stating their case. It's addressed to business owners, but the general points are applicable to pretty much all local UHC insureds. Here are some hightlights (full document available for download here):

"We are writing out of concern for recent events that have left Premier Health out-of-network with UnitedHealthcare ... Premier Health has done everything it can on behalf of our patients."

Okay, but if it's "all about the Benjamins," then what's your argument?


"Premier Health works to fulfill its nonprofit mission ... We serve more than 60 percent of the region's adult patients who are covered by Medicaid."


Now, I have no inherent objection to charitable care, but I'm already paying for Medicaid through my taxes. I see no reason to further subsidize it by paying more for my own health insurance. After all, Gov Kasich (among others) welcomed Medicaid expansion with open arms, further exacerbating the problem. Premier's argument seems to be heartstring-pulling, not sound financial acumen and planning.

Gonna have to do better, Ms Boosalis.
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