By Ann McAdams | June 4, 2021 at 1:44 PM EDT – Updated June 4 at 1:44 PM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Over the past several weeks, WECT has been contacted by numerous viewers with concerns that their insurance providers now considered their physicians to be out-of-network providers since Novant took over operations at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.
On June 2, a viewer complained to the newsroom via email, “How about asking NHRMC why their insurance is screwed up? I cannot have a procedure done because my insurance is no longer accepted – only because info is not transferring between NHRMC and Novant!”
Another viewer shared, “My husband received an Explanation of Benefits from Blue Cross Blue Shield for services indicating that our hospital was a non-provider. I thought this was an error and called Blue Cross Blue Shield. I spoke with a customer service representative…who verified this to be true and not an error.” The patient was prepared to change doctors in order to find an in-network provider, but was later assured that his doctor was indeed in-network.
In response to these concerns, a spokesperson for Novant Health told WECT Novant is still in-network with the insurance companies in the hospital’s previous network, but acknowledged there have been some communication issues during the ownership transition. The spokesperson provided the following statement:
“As of June 1, we have taken all necessary steps to ensure that NHRMC physicians who transition to the Novant Health Medical Group remain in-network for patients.
Unfortunately, it appears some insurance companies sent out direct communications to enrollees with incomplete or inaccurate information about the network status of their physician. We are also aware some insurance companies may have a delay in updating their online databases to accurately reflect an in-network status. We regret this has caused unnecessary confusion, and even angst, for patients despite our best efforts to make the transition as smooth as possible.
To be clear, patients should not incur any out-of-network charges as a result of their physician joining Novant Health Medical Group. While our endoscopy center may recommend a non-emergent visit or procedure be rescheduled or relocated pending enrollment by a patient’s insurance provider, Novant Health does not intend to submit any claims for any services until we have confirmation of in-network status.
We have a team of financial navigators who are available to help patients better understand their health care expenses, including what questions to ask of their insurance provider prior to a visit or procedure. Any patient with questions or concerns is encouraged to contact 1-888-277-3901.”
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