Dear Commissioner Scott White:
Thank you for your leadership during this unprecedented time in our Commonwealth and our country. As you know, the Medical Society of Virginia (MSV) serves as the voice of Virginia’s physicians, residents, medical students, physician assistants and physician assistant students, representing all medical specialties in all regions of the Commonwealth.
As the President of MSV, I write to request the Virginia Bureau of Insurance consider a market conduct study focused on network adequacy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted primary care across the country. During the initial outbreak in the spring, patients were weary to visit primary care providers for fear of exposure, and many patients are still hesitant of visiting their doctor’s office. For physician practices, this has resulted in the loss of revenue, furloughs, and practice closures. The temporary closure of practices or reduction of staff will inevitably result in less access to care.
Given this dire reality, it is unfortunate to see some commercial health plans deciding to cut their fee schedules in the middle of the pandemic. Many physician practices are in the worst financial situation in their history, and are in no position to negotiate or amend a contract with any health plan. In addition to the enormous consequences of the pandemic itself, such changes will adversely affect physicians’ ability to stay in network.
Thank you for our consideration of this much needed study. To discuss this matter further, please contact Clark Barrineau at [email protected] or 704-609-4948.
Clifford L Deal III, MD, FACS