To WVU Employee Health Benefits Administration / Geisinger Insurance:
The purpose of this petition is to re-assign Tier One benefits for services rendered by the Dermatology Center for Skin Health and Drs. Michele Maouad and Rola Gharib to WVU Employees.
The Dermatology Center (hereinafter the Practice) was previously included as a Tier One provider under the WVU Employees Health Benefit plan. During this time, several employees elected to begin their dermatology care with the Practice. They maintained regular skin screening appointments for skin cancer, as well as, chronic skin conditions. When employee benefits were amended to no longer include the Practice as a Tier One provider, these patients were forced to accept the unjust burden of additional out-of-pocket expense to continue care, or endure extended wait time and transition care to a provider in the WVU health system in order to reduce their financial responsibility. The nature of dermatology care and extended wait times to see a physician in the Tier One network make it essential for the Practice to be re-assigned to the Tier One network under WVU Employee Health Benefit plans.
Dermatology care for atypical nevi is largely dependent upon observation of change. Patients are encouraged to see the same dermatologist to monitor these changes. Routine observation is critical in the development of a successful treatment plan. In addition, patients with chronic symptomatic skin conditions and malignant melanoma must receive care in a timely manner. The wait time to see a provider in the Tier One network is often several months. Thus, care is compromised when the patient's' choice of physicians is forced by out-of-pocket expense dictated by the employee's health benefits.
In addition, Dr. Michele Maouad has lent her time and expertise to assist with the training of dermatology residents in the WVU health system. As a result, her name and information appears on provider directories and is affiliated with WVU. This has proven to be confusing to employees using these resources as a tool for selecting a provider.
Due to the nature of dermatology care and the affiliation our physicians have with WVU health systems, we request Drs. Michele Maouad and Rola Gharib be re-assigned as Tier One providers in the WVU Employee Health Benefits plans administered by Geisinger insurance.