By: Jeff Cohen
Cigna just announced it is withdrawing from Florida’s Health Insurance Marketplace. As reported by Carol Gentry in Health News Florida, Cigna blamed its decision to withdraw on fraud and abuse and on “out of network substance abuse clinics and labs.” Interestingly, Cigna spokesman, Joseph Mondy, pointed to a recent article in the Palm Beach Post (“Addiction Treatment Bonanza: How urine tests rake in millions”) in support of Cigna’s announcement.
Media reports regarding the treatment industry and Cigna’s announcement go unquestioned by reporters. For instance, the Palm Beach Post article claims “the sky-high charges have exploited addicts and alcoholics seeking help, gouged insurers and spurred law enforcement interest….” It pictures a young, tattooed man as a recovery business owner, but does not mention any wrongdoing or charges against him. It restates claims in a lawsuit against a toxicology lab without any counterbalancing input from the lab that is the subject of the lawsuit. It expresses certainty that insurers are being gouged, but does not mention that the rates actually paid by insurers for out of network services are determined entirely by the insurers, not the treatment providers. It’s an article full of allegations and innuendos, but no meaningful coverage of any of the issues. Continue reading