BlueCross Has Betrayed Our Trust

  • Thursday, June 13, 2024

J D Hickey
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee President and CEO

Scott Pierce
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Executive Vice President and COO

Andrea Willis, M.D.
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Senior Vice President 
Chief Medical Officer

Anne Hance
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Senior Vice President 
General Counsel

Sirs and Madams,

This letter is sent as a follow-up to a phone message I gave to your representative Rochel J. on May 15, 2024. The subject is my vehement objection and condemnation of the proposed betrayal and abandonment of the trust and reliance of your customers, who rely on the diligence, dedication, compassion, knowledge, skill and expertise of the physicians and ancillary personnel of CHI Memorial Hospital. 

I do not disparage or demean the other facilities or practitioners in the area, but my research into the Chattanooga area health care resources available on my relocation from Memphis convinced me that CHI was the best choice for my family. My assessment and judgement on this may be considered to be authoritative. My arrival in the Chattanooga area was subsequent to retiring from four decades of medical practice. During the years of my active participation in health care I have been a general practitioner, an Emergency Medicine physician, a board-certified Internist, a board-certified Anesthesiologist, an Assistant Professor of both Medicine and Anesthesiology, and lastly the Chief of Anesthesiology at V A Medical Center-Memphis. In short, my training and experience give me a unique perspective to evaluate the quality of health care offered by institutions and providers.

The best health care is far more than surgical skill, laboratory and radiographic assessment, or insightful diagnosis and treatment. The essence must be sincere and profound dedication to caring for the patient. (And yes, I specifically emphasize the word caring. The quintessence of maintaining or restoring a state of health is a deep personal trusting concord between the patient and physician.)  This then instills the reassuring confidence that a person must have to derive the maximum benefit from a doctor -patient relationship. This relationship is what you, apparently callously, are proposing to discard. Blue Cross advertises that it has concern for its subscribers. This assertion will be exposed as false preening to a gullible public should you proceed. That circumstance would unquestionably negatively impact thousands perhaps hundreds of thousands of people.

I ask you to change your decision and maintain CHI Memorial as a preferred provider. My health may be of little concern to you. I have no intension of meekly accepting a deleterious blow to my wellbeing. I plan on having my voice heard loudly by my elected representatives, the agencies that regulate healthcare and insurance companies, my Human Resource personnel and all outlets of public information. I plan on continuing my reliance on CHI Memorial and my physicians, However, in the next period of open enrollment, I will surely drop Blue Cross. I will opt to stay with an organization of warm dedicated people on whom I can rely even in the cold desperate hours of the night. I will eschew the cold heartless edifice whose soul is only manifest during banking hours.

James F. Hannifin, M.D.

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