Illinois Doctors Support Department of Insurance Action to Ensure Continuity of Care for Springfield Clinic Patients
March 23, 2022
Jann Ingmire, 312-580-9802
Statement Attributable to Regan Thomas, M.D., President, Illinois State Medical Society
The action taken by the Illinois Department of Insurance is a critical first step for ensuring patients get the access to medical care they deserve. We welcome the news of the enforcement action against the parent company of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois for violating the material change notice requirement in the state’s Network Adequacy and Transparency Act, an ISMS-initiated law. ISMS thanks Governor Pritzker for his leadership on this issue.
We look forward to working with IDOI on putting forth strict enforcement regulations for non-compliance. This law provides important protections for patients, including continuity of care for those with ongoing and urgent medical care needs, such as cancer patients and expectant mothers.
The practice of "ghost networks" must end. Insurance company provider directories often list doctors who are unavailable, not taking new patients, are located far away or who don’t work at the listed medical facility, or are no longer a part of the network. Although today’s announcement affects patients in central Illinois, we know this is a statewide problem. Today’s action should put other insurance companies with similar practices on notice that this disruption between patients and physicians for medical care will not be tolerated in Illinois.
Founded in 1840, ISMS is a professional membership association representing Illinois physicians in all medical specialties, and their patients, statewide. Dr. Thomas is a practicing reconstructive plastic surgeon in Chicago.