WellNow Urgent Care has maintained that starting January 1, 2024, it will no longer accept Excellus BlueCross BlueShield insurance, potentially impacting thousands of patients with increased medical costs.
We reported on this issue in October, and still, no deal has been reached between the two parties.
Unsuccessful negotiations between WellNow and Excellus regarding reimbursement rates for medical services have been playing out for over a year. WellNow’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Robert Biernbaum, expressed frustration, stating that Excellus has not only undervalued their services but is also offering lower reimbursement rates than those provided seven years ago.
This impasse means that, unless a resolution is reached, patients with Excellus insurance will be required to pay out-of-network fees for services at WellNow facilities. Dr. Biernbaum highlighted the potential adverse impact on patient healthcare decisions, emphasizing that cost considerations could deter people from seeking necessary medical care. The conflict underscores the challenges faced in balancing healthcare costs with the provision of accessible and affordable medical services.
In response, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield insists that discussions with WellNow are ongoing and productive, with the hope of reaching an agreement.
A spokesperson for Excellus emphasized their commitment to fair and equitable reimbursement rates, which align with their obligation to maintain affordable health coverage for members while ensuring access to care.
Excellus countered WellNow’s claims by stating that the requested rate increase by WellNow significantly exceeds the reimbursement for comparable services. Excellus assured its members that they could continue to access WellNow services as per their current benefit plans and promised to provide further information if an agreement isn’t reached by the end of 2023.
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