MCMS Alert: Cautious Position on the Lifetime Healthcare Companies and CDPHP Merger

Thursday, June 13, 2024 9:34 AM | Jennifer Casasanta (Administrator)

A Message from MCMS President, Dr. Janine Fogarty

In light of the recent announcement by Lifetime Healthcare Companies, parent company of Excellus BCBS and Univera Healthcare, regarding their merger with CDPHP, we at the Monroe County Medical Society (MCMS) wish to address our community with a cautious perspective.

The stated goals of this merger include the promise of enhanced quality, experience, and affordability of healthcare for residents across New York State. While these intentions are commendable, it is our responsibility to scrutinize the potential impacts of such a significant consolidation in the healthcare market.

Both the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) and MCMS share concerns about the broader implications of merging two of the largest non-profit healthcare organizations in our region. Dr. Jerome Cohen, President of MSSNY, has articulated several key issues that we echo:

· Potential for Higher Premiums: With reduced competition in the market, there is a legitimate concern that insurance premiums could rise, placing a greater financial burden on our patients. In fact, in May 2024, Excellus BCBS started to send out “Notice of Premium Rate Change” to its members, including private, independent clinicians and their medical practices. They have submitted a proposal to the Department of Financial Services (DFS) seeking approval to increase premium rates in the double-digit range (upwards of 24-26%).

MCMS encourages any of its members to submit their concerns about the proposed 2025 premium rate increase directly to the Department of Financial Services (DFS) at:

· Reduction in Choices: Fewer independent health care clinicians could lead to limited options for patients, affecting their ability to select plans that best meet their needs.

· Customer Service Concerns: Larger, merged entities may struggle to maintain high levels of customer service, potentially leading to dissatisfaction among patients.

· Impact on Medical Innovation: A less competitive environment could stifle innovation, slowing the advancement of medical practices and technologies.

· Access to Care: Further restrictions on patient access to care could result from diminished collaboration between healthcare plans and physicians.

While we recognize the potential benefits that Lifetime Healthcare Companies and CDPHP aim to achieve, we urge all stakeholders to carefully consider these possible drawbacks. The MCMS is committed to advocating for a healthcare system that maintains robust competition, fosters innovation, and prioritizes patient access and choice.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and work alongside our colleagues at MSSNY to ensure that the interests of our patients and the medical community are protected throughout this transition.


Janine L. Fogarty, MD President, Monroe County Medical Society

200 Canal View Blvd. – Suite 202

Rochester, NY 14623

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