Anthem loses disclosure fight

November 21, 2007
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The Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan that Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc. operates in Connecticut has backed out of managing part of an insurance program rather than disclose the rates it pays doctors and its approach to denying prescription drug payments. Did WellPoint make the right call? How deep should government dig into a companyâ??s internal operations?
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  • Well, how can consumerism take place in an industry where the consumer doesn't know the costs? The insurance companies nor the doctors offices aren't talking, so I guess it does take a third party to force disclosure.
  • I think it's great that the government is finally stepping in and putting it's arms around what these insurance companies are doing. I hope this is the beginning of a huge ripple effect that will be seen throughout the country.
  • This has played out as it should in this instance. All of us who contract with government entities to provide services know on the front end due to regulations in place that the federal government has the right to inspect our books and records in our fees meet a certain threshold. The government has made this information a requirement of the contract and since Wellpoint has refused, they are excluded from the contract. That is how it should be.
  • Full disclosure is something most companies do not like. First, it would require honesty in their dealings with Customers. Second, it would allow more competition in an industry that thrives within the Gray Boundaries of complex legal and contracts language. The disclosure rules will be challenged and battled in courts where lawyers will keep both sides fighting to line their pockets while poor consumers foot the bills in the form of higher rates. Take a close look at the pay for most CEO level people in this industry - it's simply sinful.

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  1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

  2. I appreciated the article. I guess I have become so accustomed to making my "pit stops" at places where I can ALSO get gasoline and something hot to eat, that I hardly even notice public rest stops anymore. That said, I do concur with the rationale that our rest stops (if we are to have them at all) can and should be both fiscally-responsible AND designed to make a positive impression about our state.

  3. I don't know about the rest of you but I only stop at these places for one reason, and it's not to picnic. I move trucks for dealers and have been to rest areas in most all 48 lower states. Some of ours need upgrading no doubt. Many states rest areas are much worse than ours. In the rest area on I-70 just past Richmond truckers have to hike about a quarter of a mile. When I stop I;m generally in a bit of a hurry. Convenience,not beauty, is a primary concern.

  4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

  5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.

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