An Update from Our Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer on WellNow Urgent Care

December 15, 2023

It’s important for me to have this opportunity to reinforce our commitment to providing affordable access to quality health care within our communities.

With WellNow Urgent Care notifying us of their intent to leave our network effective January 1, 2024, we would like to assist you with any questions you may have about health benefits and options for care. We also continue with contract discussions in the hopes WellNow will agree to remain a participating provider.

While we were engaged in good faith contract discussions with WellNow, they launched a public campaign that we felt misrepresented the facts. We’ve become increasingly concerned with WellNow’s statements and messaging, which has caused confusion and uncertainty for our members and communities.

Renewal discussions between insurers and providers are a normal part of the contracting process. In the majority of cases, these discussions end successfully, even after a provider issues a termination notice. Both sides often agree to a new contract and the provider remains in the insurer’s network.

WellNow has asked for a reimbursement increase that is significantly more than what we reimburse local doctors for similar services. We believe it’s unfair to provide preferential treatment to WellNow over our local providers who offer a tremendous amount of high-quality care to our members.

When we pay higher fees, local employers and members can face higher health insurance costs. We cannot agree to WellNow’s unreasonable demands as this would run counter to our mission to keep health coverage as affordable as possible for our members while ensuring access to care.

Primary care doctors are the backbone of our health care system and are responsible for a patient’s long-term care beyond a sickness or injury. If possible, a primary care provider (PCP) should usually be your first stop for care.

Excellus BCBS has strong relationships with over 97 percent of our local providers participating in our network, including other providers of after-hours, urgent care and other immediate care services. For more information, please visit ExcellusBCBS.com/CareOptions.

We have proudly served our communities and partnered with our local providers and health systems for almost 90 years. Our relationship with you is important and we encourage you to connect with us if needed.

Thank you,

Lisa Harris, M.D.
Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer

 

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