Petition to make Mental Health and Addiction Recovery Matter in Florida
TELL THE ADMINISTRATION AND CONGRESS:
DON'T LET BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD of FLORIDA DISCRIMINATE AGAINST MENTAL HEALTH PATIENTS!
In late 2011, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida (BCBS FL) terminated its contracts with almost all of its mental health andaddiction serviceprofessionals in Florida. BCBS FL brought in New Directions Behavioral Health to offer them less favorable contracts. BCBS FL also turned over the management of mental health and substance use benefits to New Directions.
We have heard many complaints about how these changes affect patient access to care (further details below). We believe that BCBS FL's actions violate the new federal Mental Health Parity Law that prohibits discrimination against mental health and substance use patients.
Sign this petition if you believe that <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
· BCBS FL’s changes have significantly impaired access to needed mental health andaddiction recoverycare.
· BCBSFL should not discriminate against mental health and substance use patients.
· BCBSFL must demonstrate that its mental health and substance use patients get quality care and that those patients are served by an ample and experienced network of psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers.
· The Administration and Congress must ensure that BCBL FL and other insurance companies comply with the federal Mental Health Parity Law.
Terminated psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers were invited to reapply with New Directions at substantially lower reimbursement rates, and with restrictions on referring patients to care.
Many of those providers have been forced out of BCBS FL’s network by the negative changes to their contracts.
BCBS FL refuses to provide information about whether and why it singled out mental health and substance use for these cuts and restrictions – we’ve seen no evidence that medical services were affected.
Patients have been affected in numerous ways:
· Some dropped out of treatment or cut back on care
· Some have been forced to pay higher out of network fees
· Others have had their care disrupted
· Many have beendistressed by sparse and confusing information about the transition from BCBS FL to New Directions.