ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.--()--ABQ Health Partners announced that late Friday evening, Lovelace presented ABQ Health Partners with a lawsuit in an effort to try and prevent ABQ Health Partners from having conversations with their patients about network changes that may force Lovelace Health Plan patients to leave their ABQ Health Partners’ doctors.
In response to what it considers an attempt to interfere with the patient/doctor relationship, ABQ Health Partners released the following statement:
We believe there is nothing more sacred in health care than the relationship between doctor and patient. We also believe in patients making their own health care choices. At ABQ Health Partners, we are trying to educate our patients about their basic rights. Lovelace Health Plan is trying to prevent this through a new lawsuit and through misleading advertisements and confusing communications. It is an attempt by Lovelace Health Plan to interfere with the rights of doctors and patients to communicate with each other.
ABQ Health Partners strongly believe that our doctors and providers have every right to discuss changes in care directly with their patients. It is unfortunate that Lovelace has chosen to try to restrict information, communication and choice by making meritless claims in court and choosing to pay for lawyers instead of using that money to improve health care in New Mexico.
We have received many reports of Lovelace Health Plan employees giving out misinformation to our patients in what we think is an attempt to confuse or frighten them into switching doctors instead of allowing them to make their own health care choices. Think about what you expect from your health insurance company and ask yourself if you are getting what you want.
Many patients have decades-long relationships with their ABQ Health Partners doctors and have expressed a desire to learn more about their options to continue seeing these doctors. Unfortunately, as early as November 8, 2012, when the contract between Lovelace and ABQ Health Partners expires, Lovelace may start automatically assigning these patients, many of whom are seniors, new doctors who are not familiar with patients’ health conditions. It is for this reason patients need to understand their choices during their open enrollment periods.
Patients can call ABQ Health Partners at 877.540.2715, Monday – Friday from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm with questions, speak to a Medicare representative at 1.800.633.4227 at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services or talk to their HR Benefits Administrator to learn more.
About ABQ Health Partners
ABQ Health Partners is the largest physician-owned medical group in the Southwest. ABQ Health Partners cares for 180,000 patients including 26,000 Medicare managed care-based patients through a network of approximately 184 physicians. For more information please visit www.abqhp.com.