My email to ProMedica

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Dear Dr. Cassavar,

With Open Enrollment of the Marketplace upon us, and many Toledoans having to change insurance plans because our premiums went up so much, many of us have to find new doctors, too. But ProMedica sure isn’t making it easy to for us make an intelligent decision.

In your role as President of ProMedica Physicians, could you kindly make some changes in your doctors’ current lax custom they have of rarely updating their insurance “panel” statuses?

I know for a fact that four years ago, Dr. McAlear’s entire office of physicians was not accepting new patients, because I had a doctor in that group who left to work at the Veteran’s Hospital, and not one doctor in the group could take me. Yet, four years later, those doctors are still listed as accepting new patients!

Last week I called 50 ProMedica doctors on the CareSource network who are advertised as accepting new patients, but actually only two doctors are really accepting new patients. That does not show very good odds for the honesty and consideration of the doctors to the community that they serve.

I looked up these same 50 ProMedica doctors on the Medical Mutual SuperMed PPO network, and I found 47 on this network, and of those 47, 17 are listed as closed, but 30 are listed as accepting new patients when actually only two of those 30 are accepting new patients.

I lived in New York for 27 years, and I never had a problem finding a doctor. Doctors in New York are required to update their status within 15 days of a change. Michigan has similar rules and there is no problem there, either.

I’m sure there is some law that applies to this problem in Toledo, even if Ohio may not have a regulation like that, which I don’t know, but I assume that is the reasoning. I’m not a lawyer, just a Toledoan who has been hurt by this process, and I’m talking to other people who have been hurt too, and I’m trying to make a change for the better.

Couldn’t ProMedica doctors take the lead in our community by providing accurate information on your website and on insurance network lists for your community members? It can’t be that much effort and it sure would go a long way. In a city where ProMedica is building new buildings and has such a big name, ProMedica could show Toledoans that you are listening to their concerns and that you want to help make a better Toledo. You are Toledo’s doctors, but you are also our neighbors and our friends too.

When I hear things like, “It’s been going on for years” from doctors’ offices that will not accept new patients even when they are listed as doing so, I have to think, what does that say about our community, and what is that teaching our kids? It’s got to stop. Please, take the lead, Dr. Cassavar and ProMedica Physicians.

Thank you for your time. I appreciate your consideration.

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