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BUSINESS
May 17, 1986 | By Gilbert M. Gaul, Inquirer Staff Writer
Blue Cross of Greater Philadelphia has been selected by the federal government to be one of 10 companies that will process Medicare home-health claims. While that may not sound like the greatest thing since sliced bread, consider the alternative. "We could have been out of the home-health business entirely," explained Eugene Ott, Blue Cross' senior vice president in charge of provider relations. As part of the 1984 Deficit Reduction Act, Medicare officials were instructed to pare the number of outside firms processing home-health-care claims from several dozen to 10 regional companies.
BUSINESS
December 10, 1993 | by Marc Meltzer, Daily News Staff Writer
The Department of Justice has begun an investigation to determine whether a clause in Independence Blue Cross' hospital contracts, designed to get the insurer the hospital's lowest rates, is anti-competitive. A Nov. 30 letter to state Insurance Commissioner Cynthia M. Maleski says the department would begin its investigation into Blue Cross' prudent-buyer clause within a few days "to determine whether it violates the federal antitrust laws. " It is signed by Steven Kramer, an attorney in the department's antitrust division.
NEWS
October 18, 1988 | By Robin Palley, Daily News Staff Writer
Thanks to amendments to proposed changes in the corporate structure of Blue Cross, subscribers will retain a voice in the board of directors of the giant health care insurance company, a Blue Cross official said last night. Blue Cross spokesman Dick Mendenhall said under the amendments passed last night at a subscribers' meeting, individuals can be nominated to the board if they submit petitions representing 5 percent of Blue Cross' subscribers. Formerly 10 percent was required.
BUSINESS
March 23, 1988 | By Gilbert M. Gaul, Inquirer Staff Writer
Blue Cross of Greater Philadelphia last year posted its largest gain in subscribers since 1969, adding nearly 60,000 new members, the health insurer reported at its annual meeting last night. Despite the nearly 3 percent increase in subscribers and a 16.5 percent increase in revenues, to $959 million, Blue Cross lost $38.3 million in 1987 as claims and operating expenses increased dramatically. The $38.3 million net loss was equal to 4 percent of Blue Cross' underwriting expenses of $954.
NEWS
January 12, 1989 | By Dave Racher, Daily News Staff Writer
Two pharmaceutical workers have been accused of swindling Blue Cross out of a total of $84,025 between June 1986 and September 1987 by submitting false claims. District Attorney Ronald D. Castille yesterday said he had the best prescription for the alleged fraud. He charged the two with theft by deception, forgery and conspiracy. The accused are Clarence Jackson, 33, of 17th Street near Wharton, and Curtis Webster, 30, of 12th Street near Jefferson. Prosecutor James Fitzpatrick, chief of the DA's economic crimes unit, said Jackson and Webster were stealing blank invoices while working at Lancaster Avenue Medical Supply, Lancaster Avenue near 41st Street.
NEWS
January 8, 1988 | By JOSEPH R. DAUGHEN, Daily News Staff Writer
The Blue Cross trust fund of the Fraternal Order of Police has been reorganized to remove it from the union president's control. FOP President Robert Hurst, who supported the reorganization, said it was "important" to place the fund's $2.2 million balance "beyond the reach of whoever happens to be sitting in the president's chair. " The fund, Law Enforcement Health Benefits, has been separately incorporated as a non-profit organization governed by a nine-member board, said board chairman Richard B. Costello.
NEWS
May 19, 1987 | By Gilbert M. Gaul, Inquirer Staff Writer
A huge backlog of claims to Blue Cross of Greater Philadelphia for major- medical insurance payments has been slashed to a near-normal level. The backlog is down to about 11,000 claims from a high of more than 60,000 in January. A spokesman said the insurer's processing schedule was expected to be back to normal by June. "I fully believe in two weeks we'll have it down to 8,000 or less . . . a level that's normal for this time of year," James R. Vivian, director of the major-medical section, said in an interview last Friday.
NEWS
August 19, 1986 | By Gilbert M. Gaul, Inquirer Staff Writer
In an important break with the past, Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurance plans would lose their 50-year-old exemption under the sweeping revision of the tax code agreed upon over the weekend. The bill approved by a House-Senate conference committee calls for the nonprofit insurance plans to pay taxes based on their annual earnings and on how much money they have in their reserves. The tax on the Blues is expected to add about $800 million to the Treasury's coffers over a five-year period.
NEWS
February 2, 1986
It appears that a reasonably salient point has been overlooked in the articles on the surplus in the Blue Cross "reserves. " From personal experience I can truthfully hypothesize that much of this surplus has come from the pockets of those covered by the various plans, both as individual subscribers and as those covered under a plan provided by their employers in lieu of additional direct wages. When the hospitalization plan allows only a partial portion of actual billing amount, as reimbursement to subscribers whose physicians are non- participating, the plan is limiting its expenses while increasing the outlay of the average card holder.
BUSINESS
March 15, 1989 | By Sheila Simmons, Daily News Staff Writer
Several Independence Blue Cross subscribers lashed out against the company's leadership yesterday, then prepared for battle against the process that elects the organization's board of directors. The protesters contended that Blue Cross manipulates its board's elections to guarantee selection of candidates favored by the company's management. Five subscribers, vowing to advocate subscriber rights, submitted their own nomination petitions for the company's 30-member board. "This is the opening gun in a battle against the completely undemocratic electoral process," said Max Weiner, educational director of the Consumers Education and Protective Association, which sparked the challenge.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
May 27, 2015
ISSUE | SCHOOLS Priorities skewed It's ironic that the School District is spending more than $1.37 million to suppress an employee's freedom of speech while one of its neighborhood schools, with which I am familiar - Emlen Elementary - has to rely on charity and volunteers to provide its students with a school library ("Blow the whistle," May 21). |Deborah Grill, Philadelphia ISSUE | NEW JAIL Different pocket Although Jim Kenney objects to building a new House of Correction because the schools need the money, the funds to build would come from the capital budget - not the operating budget, where money for school funding emanates.
BUSINESS
December 28, 2014 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
Independence Blue Cross on Friday disclosed a data breach affecting 12,500 of its more than 2.5 million members. Unlike most high-profile cases of personal data loss, such as the one at Target stores last year affecting 70 million people, the IBC case did not involve computers. The incident happened in October, when maintenance workers threw out four boxes of member records that were supposed to be moved from one floor to another at IBC's offices, the company said Friday in a legal notice.
NEWS
November 21, 2014
ISSUE | CULTURE Back to childhood I completely agree with a recent letter writer's view of what in my assessment has become the Taney Dragons Little League fiasco ("Young needlessly caught up in fame game," Nov. 13). The publicity about the team's on-field and subsequent exploits has transcended all logic, reasonableness, and newsworthiness. Most importantly, it has the potential to permanently damage the kids involved psychologically - especially the featured star. Let's put a stop to yet another example of our culture's sports madness and protect the Dragons.
NEWS
August 19, 2014 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
GEORDETTA Stiles-Middleton didn't like to lose touch with people. And the telephone was her favorite instrument of connection. "She could spend hours on the phone with family and friends, reminiscing, gossiping," said her husband, Wayne Middleton. "She liked to keep in touch with people she knew in school and at work. " Geordetta Stiles-Middleton, a devoted mother and active churchwoman, died Aug. 8. She was 42. She had had some health issues, but the cause of death was not determined.
BUSINESS
July 10, 2014 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Independence Blue Cross has partnered with Philadelphia University to augment its in-house innovation program. Employees of the health insurer can attend a four-week customized leadership program, "A Primer on Innovation," developed by Philadelphia University. The coursework, which leads to a certificate, can be applied to a master's degree at the university, the insurer said. So far, 1,000 IBC employees have participated in some aspect of innovation training and, as a result, developed Independence IQ, an educational game used to acquaint consumers with the federal Affordable Care Act.   jvonbergen@phillynews.com 215-854-2769 @JaneVonBergen www.inquirer.com/jobbing  
NEWS
March 14, 2014 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
YOU MIGHT have run into Bob Pettigrew in a pool hall, on a SEPTA train, on the street, or catching a lunchtime smoke outside his workplace. Wherever, you couldn't miss Bob Pettigrew in his natty attire, and after he gave you his customary hug, you could smell his cologne long after you parted. There was no doubt that Bob was a people person. He enjoyed people, had a ton of friends, and seemed always to run into somebody he knew, no matter where he went. Robert Leon Pettigrew Jr., who worked in the program department of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and formerly was employed by the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging and Southwest Airlines, an Army veteran and devoted family man, died March 4 of an aneurysm.
BUSINESS
January 26, 2014 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
More than 52,000 people signed up with Independence Blue Cross for individual health plans that started Jan. 1 under the Affordable Care Act. Independence, the region's largest health insurer, with 13 plans on the marketplace, reported enrolling 52,278 people from Oct. 1, when healthcare.gov opened, through Dec. 24, the last day to buy for the new year. Aetna, which has 12 plans, does not have enrollment numbers at this time, a spokesperson said. Just over half of Independence's new members - 27,528 - went through the federal marketplace; 24,750 of them used the company's website, telesales, or the mobile Independence Express and brokers.
NEWS
November 29, 2013 | By Don Sapatkin, Inquirer Staff Writer
Responding to New Jersey's decision late Tuesday allowing insurers to continue health policies that are scheduled for cancellation, the state's largest carrier said that doing so under the guidelines would not be a viable option for most plans in the individual market because of cost. The immediate effect of the announcement by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey was unclear. Millions of policies are being canceled nationwide, in many cases because they do not meet the Affordable Care Act's minimum standards.
NEWS
November 25, 2013 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
Grace Mathis Williams, 88, of Westville, who retired in 1990 as customer service director for what is now Independence Blue Cross in Philadelphia, died Monday, Nov. 18, of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at home. In 2008, the Borough of Westville and the Lions Club there gave her a Special Recognition Award, "mainly for her volunteer work for the Westville Library," daughter Penny Cipolone said. "She was a driving force behind the library, its move from one building to another, improving its facility.
BUSINESS
November 12, 2013 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Three weeks ago, Daniel J. Hilferty, 57, president and chief executive of Independence Blue Cross, joined other insurance executives in Washington to meet with U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. The topic? The massive computer software nightmare that has complicated enrollment in the new health insurance exchanges and set off a war of partisan sniping in Washington. Question: What's your reaction to the glitches and what did you tell the White House?
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