MSSNY ALERT: MSSNY Urges Caution on Proposed CDPHP-Excellus “Affiliation”

Tuesday, May 28, 2024 4:15 PM | Jennifer Casasanta (Administrator)

Additional Market Concentration Could Spell New Hassles for Patients and Physicians

“We urge great caution by the various regulatory authorities charged with review of the proposed takeover of CDPHP by Lifetime, already the parent company of Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield and Univera. Both CDPHP and Excellus have long maintained generally collaborative relationships with the physicians and other care providers in the regions of the State they serve, as evidenced by their lower complaint rankings as compared to the health insurance industry behemoths serving much of the State. In the experience of physicians, bigger is often not better, resulting in companies becoming less receptive to the needs of the communities they serve, and more likely to initiate procedures that ultimately make it more difficult for patients to have coverage for the care they need.

“We further note that, if this takeover is permitted, it would mean that a Blues plan would be one of the dominant insurers in 12 out of New York’s 13 Metropolitan Statistical Areas, according to data from the AMA’s most recent Competition in Health Insurance Report.

“The Federal Trade Commission recently announced that it was investigating the increasing level of corporate ownership in healthcare. The FTC review should also be expanded to examine why this is happening, as likely one of the major drivers is the increasing consolidation within the health insurance industry, as demonstrated by this proposed Lifetime acquisition of CDPHP, but also CVS’ recent purchase of Aetna and United’s diversification into medical practice ownership with Optum. Many would question whether this enormous consolidation within the health insurance sector has served patients well.

"In sum, MSSNY is very concerned with the significant potential adverse consequences for patients and employers with this consolidation. Fewer health insurance companies will lead to a lack of market competition. This has the potential to lead to higher premiums, fewer choices, poorer customer service, stifling of medical innovation, and further restrictions in patient access to care.”

Statement attributable to:

Jerome Cohen, MD


Medical Society of the State of New York

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