Health clinic renews insurance contract
Chief Executive Officer Al Gugenberger said NRHC is eager to get the word out to the community that the problems were temporary, and insurance payments are back on track.
Gugenberger said the clinic’s contract with Blue Shield was cancelled on Sept. 20 until an acceptable rate could be met.
According to Gugenberger, NRHC was only receiving 53 percent of the cost of patient care at the time of the cancellation.
“We needed to re-visit negotiations; we simply could not keep going with the financial situation as it was. We were losing too much money,” said Gugenberger.
Due to the rate discussions, from Sept. 20 — Oct. 3, patients with Blue Shield coverage were given the option of paying for services up front and applying for reimbursement from Blue Shield later.
“Many of our patients were not happy about the situation, but we are thankful that the negotiation period was brief,” said Gugenberger.
Gugenberger said the rate has been raised to an acceptable level, and NRHC is a contracted Blue Shield provider again.
He also points out the troubles the clinic had in paying medical bills was, like many other state medical institutions, due to the recent California state budget crisis. Gugenberger said NRHC is currently up to date on all bills overdue as a result of the late budget.
Most importantly, said Gugenberger, is that NRHC’s patients’ minds are at ease.
“We have gotten the financial situation turned around, and we are not going anywhere. Northeastern has always been here to take care of the community, and that has not changed.”
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