A pregnant woman finds out that her third trimester insurance at Genesis OBGYN has stopped working

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) – Women across the state are searching for a new doctor after Genesis OBGYN and Arizona’s Blue Cross Blue Shield terminated their agreement Dec. 15.

As a result, over 16,000 patients are losing their current women’s healthcare provider.

As a pregnant mother for the first time in her third trimester, Ashley Meeks said it was exhausting and stressful worrying about what’s next.

“This is my first baby. My husband and I have tried for many years. We’ve struggled with infertility so we’re very grateful to be this far into the pregnancy,” Meeks said. “At Genesis I trust them completely with my concern for my baby and myself and when I received this email on November 18th that they may not have a network I was devastated and very alarmed.”

The email Meeks received partially quoted the following:

“Please call either the number on the back of your membership card or 877-318-4693 as soon as possible to raise your concerns about the imminent termination of the practice.”

On December 5th, Ashley received another email from Genesis OBGYN asking her to post on social media. It said in part:

“Please continue to reach out to BCBS or post on BCBS’ Facebook page to ensure BCBS understands that excluding more than 50 obstetrics and gynecology healthcare providers from its network is an unacceptable change affecting the access to care for thousands of women in Arizona.”

Ashley said the emails made her very concerned and she didn’t understand why Genesis OBGYN was asking patients to come forward on their own behalf.

“I’ve never seen anyone in a medical situation ask their patients to come forward and ask them to keep in touch with their insurance company. It was very weird and very stressful,” Meeks said.

Since Ashley is in her third trimester and has been with the same doctor since she was a teenager, she said she hates the situation she was forced into.

Thankfully, she heard about her pregnancy from BCBSAZ, but she still feels like she doesn’t know who’s at fault.

“Do I trust my OBGYN, who I’ve been going to since I was a teenager, or do I trust an insurance company,” Meeks said. “I understand that providers deserve fair pay and I understand Blue Cross’s argument that patients also deserve fair prices, but we were still put in the middle.”

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A statement from Arizona-based Blue Cross Blue Shield confirms Ashley will continue to be able to see her doctor, explaining in part:

“For those patients who are expecting or in the midst of care, our care management team coordinates with the Genesis OBGYN to ensure your current care pathway is not disrupted.”

“Whether or not you are pregnant, deciding who to go to for OBGYN care is such a personal decision and such an important decision because it is such a big part of your health and impacts so many other areas of your life will . Forcing so many of us to switch providers is just incredibly frustrating,” Meeks said.

For now, Ashley has been told that she can stay with Genesis OBGYN for up to eight weeks postpartum, after which she will have to find another doctor.

She worries with so many other women in the same boat that it will take months to see another doctor.

Full explanation of Genesis OBGYN:

Genesis OBGYN and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona Terminate Agreement (Tucson, AZ) –

Genesis OBGYN, the largest group of OBGYN healthcare providers in the Tucson area, announced today that its agreement with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) has been terminated effective December 15, 2022.

For the past few months, Genesis OBGYN has been actively in talks with BCBSAZ about a contract extension. So far, the two organizations have not been able to come to an agreement. As a result, BCBSAZ is allowing the agreement between the parties to be terminated, resulting in over 16,000 patients losing their current women’s healthcare provider. Genesis OBGYN patients have been informed that the agreement with BCBSAZ has been terminated.

“Genesis OBGYN is committed to providing the best possible care and minimizing the impact this event will have on affected patients,” said Christopher Sullivan, MD, Genesis OBGYN Medical Director.

BCBSAZ member patients who are currently pregnant, undergoing treatment, or scheduled for surgery may continue to visit their Genesis OBGYN practice and provider as an in-network provider until delivery and follow-up are complete. This requires each patient to apply for continuity of care and is encouraged to contact their provider’s office for assistance.

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Female exams and routine doctor visits unrelated to pregnancy or surgery are not eligible for continuity of care, according to the BCBSAZ. These patients can still see their doctor for their scheduled visit, but off-network costs may apply.

“Genesis OBGYN hopes to reach a mutual agreement with BCBSAZ and network with BCBSAZ at a later date,” Sullivan said.

Affected patients are encouraged to visit the Genesis OB/GYN website (genesisobgyn.net) for more details or contact their providers via the patient portal.

In a separate statement to KOLD News 13, Blue Cross Blue Shield said:

“Genesis incorrectly told patients they accepted an offer that we didn’t make. We want Genesis to stay on the network. You have a generous offer in hand and documents ready to be signed.”

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona Acknowledgment and Statement.

We are disappointed with the way these negotiations went and that no agreement could be reached. We want Genesis OBGYN to stay on the network so they can continue to care for our members. We offered generous contract terms and Genesis decided to walk away. The offer to stay on the network is still available.

Update sent to members

Negotiations are a normal part of business. Good faith negotiation is the expected course of business. In healthcare, the best negotiations take patient needs into account.

After Genesis OBGYN declined our latest offer this morning, Pima County-based Genesis OBGYN took the unfortunate step of sending a message to their patients that contained a false statement. Our legal counsel has cautioned Genesis OBGYN executives and their private equity investors not to make false statements and has been asked to correct their disclosures.

We value our providers, including Genesis physicians and healthcare professionals, and want them to stay on the network. It is important that providers are paid fairly and honored and respected for their talent, expertise and compassion. We remain hopeful that Genesis OBGYN will accept our recent offer (the records are in their possession) and pause to further piss off their patients and our members.

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We know this has caused disruption. That’s the last thing a patient needs. It’s certainly the last thing expectant mothers and patients need in the middle of care.

Thank you to concerned patients who have posted on social media for making your voice heard. Your perspective is so important and has influenced our efforts to increase reimbursement for your beloved doctors.

We are sorry that despite our best efforts we could not reach an agreement. We have offered renewals and increased reimbursement multiple times but have not been able to complete it. We carefully track payments across the country to ensure vendors are paid fairly. The reimbursement demand was so much higher than the market in this case. Agreeing to over-reimbursement makes the cost of care ever more prohibitive.

It is common for practices to be owned or endorsed by private equity firms. Unfortunately, some of these companies are focused on providing investors with high returns while driving up costs for patients. If Genesis OBGYN wants to stay in our network, they have a more than fair offer in front of them. We would welcome them with open arms.

For those patients who are expecting or in the midst of treatment, our care management team coordinates with the Genesis OBGYN to ensure your current care pathway is not disrupted. For patients who need a new provider, there are practices that are accepting new patients and we can help you find a new practice. Please call the number on the back of your card.

Thanks for listening.

In a separate statement to KOLD News 13, Blue Cross Blue Shield said:

“Genesis incorrectly told patients they accepted an offer that we didn’t make. We want Genesis to stay on the network. You have a generous offer in hand and documents ready to be signed.”

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