April 13, 2009 — In early March, ACA began to receive member reports that a number of Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) plans would no longer cover electrical stimulation and certain types of traction. The BCBS plans that were reported to be affected were all those operated by the Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), which includes the BCBS plans of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Texas, and Illinois. While reports that this change affected all of these plans, written notification regarding the policy changes was released only by BCBSOK.
The ACA has been working with our contacts at the HCSC Blues plans to obtain confirmation as to whether these policies were going to be implemented by all HCSC plans. This week, we were notified that electrical stimulation remains a covered service under HCSC plans. Certain types of traction are not covered in accordance with the HCSC policy on noncovered physical therapy services.
The ACA is working to obtain additional clarification on the types of traction that will not be covered. The information received from HCSC prompted ACA to contact BCBSOK because the information BCBSOK released is in conflict with both BCBSOK’s own Web site and the information obtained from HCSC. As soon as we have additional details from BCBSOK we will notify all members.
Source: American Chiropractic Association, www.acatoday.org