Florida Lions : Former BCBS Providers
Declaring their Independence from Mis-managed Care

Welcome to FloridaPsychologists.Net:  Who said there are no Florida Lions?!                     

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FloridaPsychologists.NET is a listing of Florida Psychologists proclaiming their independence from the interference of managed care or managed care carve outs
in mental health.  They are advocates for mental health parity, and do not believe a seperate system of mental health carve outs or mental health managed care speaks to the spirit or letter of mental health parity laws. 
They have taken the harder road of being private practitioners who answer primarily to their patients and those who consult them for their services.

Florida LIONS are former Blue Cross of Blue Shield Providers who made a break with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida when effective Dec. 1, 2011, BCBS decided to introduce a mental health carve out, New Directions. A new contract with New Directions was offered. This included terms many found unacceptable and a reimbursement rate not only below Usual and Customary fees (UCR) and the discounted rate BCBS PPC and Blue Choice Providers were previously paid, but a rate approximately 30-35% below Medicare rates. . Many Florida Lions previously only took BCBS insurance, adhering to a higher standard of care and found proposed procedures, reimbursement, and other policies to be at odds with their abilities to continue to provide the level and quality of care to the patients and families they serve.


Follow our blog to learn more about the struggle for true mental health parity and concerns that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida and other insurers raise in their treatment of mental health services and mental health providers.



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Thursday, April 5, 2012

PLEASE complete survery on adverse impact Blue Cross Blue Shielf of Florida and New Directions
If you are a patient or provider who has been negatively impacted by the change in policies or "transition" of mentla health benefits in Florida Blue (BCBS of FL) and New Directions Policies, the Florida Psychological Association is gathering data for later presentation, possibly in conjuction with national organizations.  To fill out forms go to the FPA homepage: http://www.flapsych.com/
5:36 pm edt 

Is BCBS Double Crossing its former providers and patients - Is it time for Class action?
 Well new games seem to be beginning.  As you all know there were supposed to be tow grace periods for established patients for those who did not go with Misdirections.  Blue Double cross put in writing the Oct-Dec grace period, but only promised to multiple providers, often after many calls that this would be extended through March 2012 (remember the fiasco as to whether o or not patients needed to get authorizations for this.  Eventually Misdirections, put out something in writing, affirming that these would continue to be treated as in-network until March.  Up until now we have been getting conflicting messages with reporting we need to appeal each individually and others claiming, they realize their screw up and are reprocessing all.  We’ll this week, my office manager talked to three different folks who flatly stated that effective Jan 1 we were no longer providers, so all will be processed as out of network.   This is directly opposite of statements by BCBS and written materials provided by Misdirections as well as laughable in the context of BCBS representative claims to the medical the transition will be a smooth one.   

Since they seem to be backing out of their oral and written representations, potentially costing us and patients a lot…is it time to file a formal complaint with the Insurance commission.  These last statements are more than we’re getting to it, they sound pretty defiant to me.  IS it time for a class action lawsuit for damages.  Can we get a senior BCBS official to confirm their employees statements they have no intent to honor their prior representations. 

If the statments today by BCBS employees we talked to are accurate this would seem to represent a new low for Blue Cross Blue Shielf Florida - soon to be renamed Florida Blue - maybe they shoudl try We give Floridians the Blues!  

5:32 pm edt 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Humana following suite? Terminating contracts and cutting fees
At least one psychologist in Tampa is reporting Humana sent a letter/packet regarding changes that Humana is making and voiding all contracts after 90 days from 10/31.  A new contract with  (large)cuts in fees was offered.
10:54 am est 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

New Directions Behavioral Health "Transition" BCBS FL Phone number

Seems to be a phone number for asking questions about the BCBS FL NDBH "transition": 866-287-9569.  While some people have reported that they have been able to get some sort of a list of who to transition patients to, calls this morning indicated that they wont provide a list until Dec 2, a couple of days after those who do not sign on with NDBH will no longer be under contract.  This seems to beg the quesiton of what this does to continuity of care and what disruption of the care this will cause for high-risk or fragile patients. I guess its all part of the promised smooth transition and new direction.

Warning, if they do say someone is on the ND panel, call the psychologist or psychiatrist's office and make sure.  Some members have complained they were listed on the panel though they have not signed a contract and will not be seeing New Directions patients in-network.

12:31 pm est 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Phantom Networks, Disorganization, or Disinformation?

New Directions Behavioral Health and its Equity Shareholder BlueCross BlueShield of Florida seem to continue to cause consternation amongst psychologists trying to refer or transition patients.  Despite BCBS representative's media claims that there will be no disruption and that most providers will sign, great difficulty has been reported at least by some providers in referring new or existing patients to the MisDirected Provider network.  (See prior blog entry on trying to find psychiatrists in Gainesville).

One provider recently requested a list of ND in-network providers to refer to, and was provided with a list which included their own name and others who had not signed and indicated they would not sign with New Directions Behavioral Health.  Another provider indicated a total of only 2 psychologists in the Boca area.  

This seems to be alarming news with a few weeks to go. This would seem to endanger patient care as the lack of reliable information as to who the new providers are impedes continutiy of care and transfers.

9:10 pm est 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Fed BCBS Benefits for OON - New Directions transition. For providers
I got a copy of the letter that went to Federal BCBS patients.  My humble read, is that this doess not necessarily show BCBS of FL is changing what they told us, or any procedures.  Feds and out of state plans are all free to make their own policies, so they can be different, and BCBS of FL did advise us we should check with them. So, for Fed patients there are some covered under their basic plan and some under standard plan.  Under both plans, their benefits will extend under current allowable to Jan. 29, 2012.  However, after Dec 1, 2011 payments will go to them.  So, my advice is to collect up front for federals.  Give em a superbill which they can file with a claim which can be found on www.fepblue.org After Jan 29, 2012 Basic plan Fed BCBS have no out of network mental health benefits.  So they will need to pay up front and cant collect from the feds.  Standard plan can file for out of network benefits which will be paid directly to them (you will be able to collect your full charge at time of service), minus any out-of-network deductibles or copayments.  

Not to be considered legal or professional advice.  You are on your own!

8:32 pm est 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sample Letter to Blue Cross Blue Shield Patients in Florida
Okay, for you Lions out there, we've made available a letter updating our understanding of the current Blue Cross mess with New Directions and how we will try to manage it:  Feel free to copy, modify ro distribute - no warranties implied or intended:  
Nov 1, 2011 Letter to our City EAP and BCBS Patients (.pdf)

Note that archived posts can be accessed at the bottom of the blog.
5:42 pm edt 

Monday, October 31, 2011

New Directions Pressures Providers - Are patients next?
Recent posts to list-serves suggest New Direction/BCBS of Florida is calling providers informing them that unless they sign with New Directions, patients will be sent disruption of service letters.  Some providers have indicated entire companies have terminated contracts with BCBS.  Callers identifying themselves as from New Directions or Blue Cross are reported to have indicated they will be sending letter to patients indicating providers are no longer in network and encouraging them to terminate care and transfer to in-network providers with New Directions. 

Providers are concerned that the lettters may not convey what has been told providers - i.e. there is a 90 day grace period and patients may continue until Feb. 2911 without disrupting continuity of care.  Providers have complained of tactics which seem coercive or "bullying".  This all begs the question of what regard or respect the New Direction brings for providers or potential disruptions of continutity of care.
10:31 pm edt 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

How not to find the name of a NDBH Psychiatrist; BCBS out of network updates
Our office called BCBS to try to obtain further clarification re out of network billing by psychologists and other providers who are opting not to join New Directions.  

1 yes, there is going to be a 90 day grace period 12/01/11-02/28/12.  We are to  bill BCBS and will be processed as in network.  There has not been any memo stating this.   

2. Members are to get a letter .

3. Out of network providers are not to bill New Directions, but bill as they do now to BCBS through Availity.  

4.  OON providers will still need authorizations, even though they will not be considered in network.  These will be obtained the way they are now.   

5. after Dec 1 there is not a limit to sessions.  Only the need to have authorization in place.  

6.  We were told BCBS does not have a list of Providers (but a call to member customer service seemed to indicate they have some information in this regard,we were told there were only two psychiatrists who signed in the Gainesville area) 

7. A list of providers would be mailed to  members or available online.   

8  as to the question regarding the lack of a contract with the OON provider.   This did not seem to be a concern of theirs.      

9. It seems none of this pertains to new patients, only existing patients. 

Another provider spoke to"Kia" at BCBSFL  and was told the following:

1. Rates for out-of-network (starting December 1, 2011) will be the same as those paid to BCBSFL in-network providers currently, but only for Decemebr thru Feb. 2012.

2. Out-of-netwrok allowable rates after the end of Feb 2012 will be at the "usual and customary" amount, based on a statewide assesment, but "Kia" could not reveal this detail as that was considered private.

3. Use of Availity will continue for both in-network and out-of-network providers. 

4.  through Availity you can calculate the inidvidual patient allowables and co-pays for specific CPT codes per provider. Through the end of November 2011 the calculations will indicate the professional's current status with BCBSFL (In or Out-of-Netwoork)

5. When you use Availity for determination of benefits, the information will include whether that particular patient's policy requires Pre-Authorization for a CPT code and whether you will need to send in an OTR for an out-of-network service, regardless of who files the claim - provider or patient

Now for how it works as of today: 
What its like trying to get the Name of a New Directions Behavioral Health contracted psychiatrist to coordinate care:

 Went onto New Directions website.  Patient was in session with me, so I had her BCBS and info handy.  They have a nifty looking search provider function.  You enter the member number and zip…And you get….. ZIP.  Number not valid (though in fact I have approved sessions with her very valid member number).

2. Their nifty site has a 1-800 number. Called it; Sorry, this is EAP services...but the nice person decided to help me anyway. Could not verify the patient member number or tell me who if any psychiatrist was in Gainesville FL. Suggested
I call the customer service number on the back of pts card (BCBS).

3. All our representatives are busy

4. Please hold

5. Got through to a human who seemed a bit bewildered why I was asking about New Directions psychiatrists (it does not go into effect until Dec 1).

6. Explained the general concept of continuity of care for a patient.

7. She searched whatever database she had.... Seems she could find few M.D.s or Ph.D.s (though I had not asked about the later) that had signed with ND.

8. Gave me three names, and even phone numbers. Oh, one of the names is a Ph.D., she thinks he must be a psychologist.

9. Tried to find the other two names as psychiatrists in the yellow pages, Shands directory, google..... I didn't recognize them as local psychiatrists....

10. Gave up on that

11. Figured Shands must be one of those groups who gets exempt from Misdirections - Called Shands outpatient psychiatry an efficiently set up an appointment with a psychiatrist there.

  IMPRESSIONS:   Phone numbers on the fancy New Directions website don't seem to go to right department. New Directions at this point still cannot tell patients who is on the new directions panel. Blue cross seems to get confused as to who is a psychiatrist and who is a psychologist. We have a grand total two names of psychiatrists as of this date who will see New Directions people in the future Gainesville network. They are not listed in the phone book, internet or anywhere

8:58 pm edt 

Dear President Obama / contact your representatives / corporate doublespeak

Dear President Obama,...   Read this letter from Dr. Johnson, a Gainesville psychiatrist...


From the Sarkis Family Psychiatry site: View a sample letter for writing to your legislators >

Finally, BCBS FL Corporate Double Speak:    BCBS FL officials have done a number of puff PR pieces and "editorial replies" assuring the transition for mental health patients from traditional BCBS plans to New Directions woudl be seemless, not cause problems in service and implied if not stated more than a month ago that the majority of patients wouls still be able to see their current providers and plenty of providers were signing up.  However, calls and list-serve posts indicate providers and patients are having a hard time locating the mystery New Directions providers.  Providers who have not signed are being told that now, in late October (a month after the news PR stories they were doing fine), the New Directions panel is "60% full".  Well, what is it BCBS / ND? Are you or are you not seeing a great deal of reluctance to go to..., a New Direction?.

Where is the FL insurance commission on this? Consumers and providers have no written assurance of a further grace period fpr current contracts while they sort this mess out.  BCBS decision not to put it in writing is not consumer and provider friendly.  We urge the insurance commission to step in and have BCBS put in writing, what they seem to be telling consumers.  Maybe is not acceptable with respect to valuable mental health care.

10:56 am edt 

2012.04.01 | 2011.11.01 | 2011.10.01 | 2011.09.01

Link to web log's RSS file

Pease visit some of the other sites published by CPANCF.

Click here for a .pdf file of American Psychological Association / Florida Psychological Association
letter to US Secretaries of Labor, Health and Human Services and Treasury regarding concerns about mental health parity and Blue Cross Blue Shield / New Directions

Links to the Blue Cross Blue Shield New Directions Controversy

Mental Health New Tricks,
Mental health providers in turmoil as Blue Cross shifts business, cuts rates (Palm Beach Post, September 4, 2011)

Blue Cross providing an illusion of coverage (Dr. Stephen. Ragusea's Letter to the Editor, Key West Citizen, August 25, 2011)


Protect your family from the lowest bidder.
Seek a truly independent psychologist.

Protect your family from the lowest bidder.  Choose a truly independent psychologist.





Clinical Psychology Associates of North Central Florida 
2121 NW 40th Terr. Ste B
Gainesville, FL 32605
(352) 336-2888
Licensed Psychologist since 1989
Websites:  www.cpancf.com

Clinical Psychology Associates of North Central Florida 
2121 NW 40th Terr. Ste B
Gainesville, FL 32605
(352) 336-2888
Websites:  www.cpancf.com

Angela Allen-Peck, Psy.D.
Psychology Resident under supervision Dr. Bordini
Clinical Psychology Associates of North Central Florida 
2121 NW 40th Terr. Ste B
Gainesville, FL 32605
(352) 336-2888
Websites:  www.cpancf.com
Jan M. Snyder, Ph.D.
7711 SW 103rd Avenue
Tel Number: 352-495-2709
Website: http://www.drjanmsnyder.com/
Licensed Since: 1983



Dale G. Simpson, Ph.D.
210 SW Nightingale St. Ste B
Keystone Heights, FL  32656
Tel: 352-867-5595
Licensed Since: 1988


Dade County
Jerome H. Poliacoff Ph.D.
1501 Venera Avenue Suite #225
Coral Gables, 33146
Licensed Since:                 1984




Harold R. Linde, Psy.D.
13701 Bruce B. Downs Blvd. Suite 103
Tampa, FL, 33613
(813) 972-4343
Licensed Since 1984


Ernest J. Bordini, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology Associates of North Central Florida 
(352) 336-2888
Licensed Psychologist since 1989
Websites:  www.cpancf.com

David P. Dupere, Psy.D.
3515 SE 17th St, Suite #102
Ocala FL
Tel: 352-867-5595
Licensed Since: 1991

Kathleen J. Kelly, Ph.D.
1701 NE 42nd Avenue, Suite 102
Ocala, Florida
Business Tel Number: (352) 351- 4940
Licensed Since: 2004

Benjamin Phalin, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology Associates of North Central Florida 
(352) 336-2888
Licensed Psychologist since 2011
Websites:  www.cpancf.com

Dale G. Simpson, Ph.D.
3515 SE 17th St #102
Ocala FL
Tel: 352-867-5595
Licensed Since: 1988



Robin Goldstein, Ed.D.
7777 Glades Rd. Ste100
Boca Raton, FL 33434
561 212 5408
Licensed in FL since 1984

Gail Greenspoon,Ed.D
2499 glades rd. Suite 203
Boca Raton, fl.
561 392 7779
Licensed psychologist since 1992

Lynn Rosen Lampert,Ph.D
2900 Military Trail
South Building
Suite 165
Boca Raton,Fl. 33433
Licensed since 1985

Barbara Winter PhD PA FAACS
2900 North Military Trail #165
Boca Raton
Tel Number: 561-995-4004
Website: www.drbarbarawinter.com
Licensed Since: 1988


Diane A. McKay, Psy.D., P.A.
1990 Main St., Suite 750
Sarasota, FL 34236
Tel: (941) 365-7240
Licensed Since 2000

Volusia County


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We hope that you agree that your mental health diagnosis and treatment is too critical to have a third party interfere with or rush. 

Careful and thorough assessment helps reduce overdiagnosis of conditions which may have life-long implications, while underdiagnosis and misdiagnosis can lead to negative life consequences due to lack of proper treatment. This is too important to go to the lowest bidder.

With so much at stake, trust truly independent psychologists who is not being coached or restricted by a third party with respect to the assessmet and treatment of you or your precious family.


Published by Clinical Psychology Associates of North Central Florida * 2121 NW 40th Terrace Suite B * Gainesville * FL * 32605 http://www.cpancf.com
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