New York: Insurer slashes network

Friday, September 26, 2014

LE ROY, N.Y. – MVP Health Care, one of New York’s largest HMOs, has reduced the number of providers it will do business with from 144 to 13, shaking up the state’s HME industry.

The change was effective July 1.

For Le Roy, N.Y.-based Durable Medical Equipment and Supplies, which serves about 4,000 customers, losing the MVP contract meant losing about one-quarter of its patients.

“That had a profound impact on us,” said owner Patrick Lippa. “We had well over 1,000 MVP customers that we can’t service any more.”

Doug Crana, president of Newburgh, N.Y.-based Consolidated Medical, was able to hold on to his contract.

“We have tried to access similar networks in the past, and we’ve always been told the network is full and we’ve been blocked out almost every time,” he said. “Therefore, it’s a bittersweet victory for us to maintain that contract with MVP right now.”

Unfortunately, shutting out smaller providers from networks is the direction the insurance industry is moving toward, Crana said.

“It is creating an access issue, in my eyes, absolutely, but at the same time, it’s survival of the fittest,” he said.