North Texans could lose doctors over dispute

Professor Nathan Cortez talks about the battle between Blue Cross Blue Shield and Texas Health Resources that was precipitated by the new health care law.

By Jack Fink
CBS 11 News

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Lynn Riley is worried about her healthcare. “I really don’t want to lose my doctor.”

But that’s exactly what could soon happen to her and thousands of other North Texans. “I just really feel comfortable talking to her, and confiding in her and I really don’t want to start over with another doctor like that.”

She may have to because of a dispute between her health insurer, Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Texas and Texas Health Resources, which operates numerous medical facilities across the region, including Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, where Riley sees her doctor. . .

Experts say these kinds of disputes between health care insurers and providers will become more frequent. This as the industry prepares for the health care law to go into effect fully by 2014.

SMU law professor Nathan Cortez says the newly passed healthcare reform law imposes new requirements on insurers now, and will do so on providers in the future. “Health reform changes the terms of the negotiation.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see this happening across the country right now. It’s interesting to see these negotiations being made public.”

Read the full story or watch the video of CBS 11 reporter Jack Fink's story.

# # #