Insurance Commission steps in

By PAT BROWN,

Thanks to the staff of Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney, Magee residents will have more options when it comes to healthcare providers as well as services offered.

Since Dr. John Miller started his practice at the Miller Family Clinic in Magee he has been unable to accept United Health Care insurance for payment for services because other physicians were already providing services to patients in the Magee  area.  Therefore the company would not approve adding Dr. Miller as another service provider.  

That is no longer the case, Dr. Miller reported in a Monday afternoon interview.  He said he is now approved to provide care for patients using United Health Care insurance, as is staff member Deborah Develin, nurse practitioner. Kristina Wood, a family nurse practitioner in the Miller Family Clinic, is completing the required documentation needed to allow for coverage.

Dr. Miller said not a large percentage of his patients have this coverage, but some large businesses provide this insurance, which could have created major issues for prospective patients who are employees of businesses like Walmart and the local post office.  Miller said some of the surrounding counties also have that insurance and it limits his clinic from being able to treat those patients.  

Calls were placed to Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney about Dr. Miller not being approved to offer services for reimbursement. 

The commissioner’s staff started working on the issue immediately. Bob Williams and staff members took great interest in the program, they said, and in the course of the week United Health Care approved Dr. Miller and  others on his staff to participate in services through United.  This means that consumers will not be limited as to which physicians they may receive services from in Magee. 

Chaney said in a follow up, “It is our job and mission to follow up on issues like this.  Our folks do something like this every day, for homeowners, auto owners, business in the state, health providers and insurers.” He added, “Our office affects every life in the state including the unborn with prenatal care for the mother and families of deceased loved ones with issues like burial insurance.” 

Chaney said his working relationship with professionals like Lacosta Wix at United “make our job very rewarding.”    

Dr. Miller said, “This is a great thing for us and we appreciate working with Mr. Chaney and his staff to address this issue.”