The relatively higher amounts billed by physicians affiliated with these prestigious facilities couldn’t be justified in the quality of care, according to the Los Angeles Times:
Cedars and UCLA have long captured the public’s attention because celebrities have sought out treatment there for years. Anthem Blue Cross told city officials that the public often perceives care is better there because Hollywood stars such as Jodie Foster, for instance, went to Cedars to have her baby. But their costs are up to 50% higher than competitors and the quality of care isn’t measurably better, according to Steven Scott, general manager of group sales for Anthem Blue Cross.
Scott told city officials recently that Cedars and UCLA are among “the most notorious” for higher costs and “taking out those physician groups produces a substantial difference in cost.” Anthem isn’t alone in pursuing this strategy. Many insurers are aggressively pitching these sharply limited networks, which offer fewer choices and lower-priced doctors and hospitals, as a cost-cutting tool at a time when U.S. health insurance premiums have climbed three times as fast as inflation and wages over the last decade.
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