A Message from Margo Opsasnick, Delta Medix CEO
Because newspaper articles are limited by space, I want to take a moment to add some depth to the story that appeared in The Scranton Times on September 1.
First and foremost, I want to reiterate that we are fighting for our patients and for the care they deserve. Our hearts are breaking for patients like Mark Seitzinger and Joan Addvensky whose situations were noted in the article below.
I’ve personally heard countless stories of our patients where they tried to utilize the Highmark/Blue Cross NEPA network and were frustrated, disappointed and quite frankly…scared. They were told they would have to wait 3 months for a Urology appointment and travel to Wilkes-Barre or Allentown for that same opportunity to see a urologist. Others have been flat out denied an appointment when they called Highmark/ BC NEPA “in network” providers to schedule.
It our commitment to you that we have stood by for over 50 years to provide comprehensive care that is compassionate, innovative, and accessible to patients. Thank you for the overwhelming support and for standing by our side during this difficult time. I assure you, we are still diligently trying to reach an agreement with Highmark / BC NEPA.
A Letter to our Patients
Delta Medix has tried to negotiate a fair contract with Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania (now Highmark) for its First Priority Life products FPLIC Traditional, FPLIC PPO, FPH (First Priority Health).
BC NEPA/Highmark has chosen NOT to negotiate with us and therefore we are no longer participating in the BC NEPA/HIGHMARK network.
Our goal has always been to care for all of our patients. On behalf of our patients Delta Medix has filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner and notified The Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Attorney General in order to bring attention to the lack of specialty care in the BC NEPA/Highmark network. It is our contention that our BC NEPA/Highmark member’s care is being compromised by the inadequate specialty network in our area.
However, Highmark stands by its assertion that the specialists list provided to members is adequate and there are “timely” appointments available. You, however, know this is not the case if you have tried to make appointments with specialists outside the Scranton area. We are aware that the wait time to see a Urologist in Wilkes-Barre is upward of ten weeks and in many cases more than twelve weeks.
Blue Cross NEPA/ Highmark is very clear they feel their subscribers don’t need care by Delta Medix and their Network is fine for their members. Please understand it is not the Delta Medix physicians who are sending you to Wilkes-Barre, Lehigh Valley and Danville for your care. It is your insurance, Highmark/Blue Cross NEPA that is dictating that you go to Wilkes-Barre, Lehigh Valley and Danville for your care. They have chosen to compensate their Executives and Board members handsomely, raise your premiums by double digits annually but make you travel out of the area for care.
The Continuation of Care Agreements between Delta Medix and BC NEPA/Highmark expire September 2, 2015. BC NEPA/Highmark has rejected extensions beyond the September 2nd date to the existing Continuation of Care agreements of all Delta Medix patients who have requested an extension including those currently undergoing treatment for cancer. They assert patients have "adequate time to find another in network physician".
If you have been effected and have been forced to wait an unreasonable amount of time to be seen by a specialist outside our area for your medical problem and would rather continue your care with your established Delta Medix physician, we are asking you to contact your employer or your Human Resource Department.
Please take a moment of your time to write your employer and detail the hardship of finding specialists in the Highmark/BC NEPA network. In addition, if you have a chronic disease and are being monitored by a Delta Medix physician please let your Employer and HR Department know it is burdensome for you to switch to a specialist after you have developed a long term trust in your Delta physician.
Please forward a copy of your letter to Margo Opsasnick, Chief Executive Officer, Delta Medix, PC, 236 Penn Avenue, Scranton Pa. 18503 or email firstname.lastname@example.org in order to keep a record of letters sent to BC NEPA/Highmark.
From the start of this contract issue with BC NEPA and currently with Highmark / BC NEPA, we have received tremendous support from our patients as evidenced by the hundreds of letters sent to BC NEPA requesting they provide access to the care of the Delta Medix specialists. For this we are truly grateful. We are asking that you, our patients, work with us to hold Highmark/BC NEPA accountable to provide you with an adequate network of specialists for your premium dollars.
If you have any questions please call our Chief Executive Office, Margo Opsasnick at (570) 445-2444 or our Chief Operating Officer, Anne Gallagher at (570) 241-4715.
The Physicians of Delta Medix