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Update: The ER rooms are ok as t ...

Posted Nov 10 2008 4:21pm

Update: The ER rooms are ok as they are not affected...according to the article here the insurance companies refused to negotiate rates with Prime HealthCare ....one surgeon commented the hospital is becoming a giant ER room...as one statement was issued, "Prime selectively chooses hospitals they think they can turn around"....meanwhile physicians move and layoffs continue..BD 

Centinela serves one of the poorest regions of Los Angeles County, it doesn't have the fundraising power of other hospitals to remain solvent, Crockett said.

Instead, Reddy and other officials put the onus on insurance companies. After the sale was announced in November, hospital officials sent notices to Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Aetna, PacifiCare and Health Net that they wanted to renegotiate rates.  The companies refused, hospital officials said, and as a result, HMO contracts were canceled as of Dec. 31. Centinela still accepts patients covered by PPO plans, and takes Medicare and Medi-Cal.

Ultimately, patients get put in the middle - and in many cases, end up paying higher costs, said Nicole Evans, spokeswoman for the California Association of Health Care Plans, a trade association that represents 40 HMO insurance carriers.

What often happens, she said, is the insurance company pays the contractual rate for emergency care - even if they don't have a contract in place - and the hospital sends the patient a bill for the difference. The patient should call the insurance company to dispute the cost, she said, but many wind up just paying it.

The Daily Breeze - Patients caught in Centinela Hospital Medical Center's shake-up

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