Sound Off

Sound Off: For Medicare supplement plans, Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Kansas offers a substantial premium discount if one uses hospitals on its preferred list. LMH is not one of them. For a community wanting to be more retiree friendly, why doesn’t Lawrence Memorial Hospital participate?

Janice Early, LMH spokeswoman, said Blue Cross Plan 65 Select is a Medicare Select policy, which is an alternative to a traditional Medicare Supplement plan. She said LMH’s analysis of the Blue Cross Plan 65 Select determined it is not financially feasible for the hospital to participate. To lower Blue Cross’s costs, participating hospitals must write off the patient’s inpatient deductible, which for 2012 is approximately $1,200 per admission. Fewer than 20 hospitals, out of more than 140 eligible hospitals in Kansas, participate in this plan. “Subscribers to Select plans can come to LMH for all outpatient services without any change in coverage. They also can still use LMH if they need inpatient services; they will, however, have to pay the Medicare deductible of approximately $1,200 per inpatient admission,” Early said. To learn more about Medicare plans, visit the Kansas Insurance Department’s website,


Patriot2 6 years, 2 months ago

Blue Cross Plan 65 Select is not the only insurance plan that LMH does not "participate" or "accept assignment" with. My employer insurance is another. I found that out the hard way. If I would've done a little price shopping, such as I do for car purchases or groceries, I would have found that driving to Topeka or KC would have cut my out of pocket costs in half.

LadyJ 6 years, 2 months ago

LMH is not going to tell you there is a financial assistance program you can apply for. If you qualify, you can get a reduced deductible or even no deductible. I believe it is based on your current income and expenses.

Alceste 6 years, 2 months ago

Janice Early, LMH spokeswoman obsfuscates the matter.

The network or "preferred hospitals" are with respect to Medicare Plan F Select (Medigap policy) and are relative to PLANNED hospitalizations such as hip replacement surgery. You can still go to LMH on an emergency basis.

Alceste asserts what Ms. Early is trying to say is: "We have to be certain we can pay ole Gene half a million dollars per year so he can pay not dime one back to Douglas County since he don't live in these here parts. Nary a pennie do he have to pay. Also, we, LMH, have to be certain all our admins get paid big dollars because we are a world class outfilt."

The hospitals which participate in the network of the Blue Cross program are determined by where a person resides. For Douglas County Medicare folks who also have the best medigap policy you can buy, Plan F (pays all deductibles and all "extra charges" for those doctors who are approved but not participating [they get to add a 15% boost to the Medicare approved rate], 2 of the hospitals in the network (preferred) are:

St. Francis Health Center 1700 Southwest 7th Street Topeka, Kansas 66606-1690

Stormont-Vail HealthCare 1500 Southwest 10th Avenue Topeka, Kansas 66604-1353 is a listing of all the facilities.

Let Mr. Meyer and Janice Early, LMH spokeswoman explain how these two Topeka outfits can "afford" to be network providers and yet LMH cannot?

Not particularly "retiree friendly". However, if a Medicare patient had a planned hospitalization (such as hip replacement;knee replacement; cardiology and heart surgeries) why on earth would they CHOOSE to go to LMH when they could choose to go to the Cleveland Clinic, the Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins or any other quality place ( ). Yes, granted the person would need to coordinate their Medigap Supplement policy such that they convert it from Plan F Select to simple Plan F (something which the consumer CAN do with Blue Cross of Kansas): Say you have Plan F Select and learn you need a hip replacement. You learn about this need on January 23, 2012. Simply call Blue Cross, convert to regular Medigap Plan F (yes, with the higher premium) and on Feb. 1, 2012 you can go to any hospital to your liking....and that most certainly does NOT include any of the hospitals in Kansas for such important surgeries as noted (joint replacement; cardiology matters; etc., etc., etc.)

It's all about paying them pipsqueak "administrators" here in Lawrence, Kansas and nothing to do with actual outcomes.

Alceste 6 years, 2 months ago

.....and while "we're at it".......that's all provided one can afford a Medigap policy to cover the "extra costs" associated with Medicare.....the deductibles; the co-pays; etc.: Many, many people don't have the luxury of the Medigap policy. Lawrence Memorial IS SUCH a caring opertation. What was the LMH spokeswoman's salary again? We know good ole progressive Gene is pulling down 1/2 million dollars per year and doesn't pay dime one to either Douglas County or Lawrence given he doesn't reside in either.......not even fancy car license plates.

Too, let it be known: There is not one single dermatologist in Lawrence, Kansas who accepts Medicare. Not one. What other specialities in the medical community here in "progressive Lawrence, Kansas" are not accepting Medicare?

A retiree haven? Good grief.

Belinda Rehmer 6 years, 2 months ago

I know this is probably not going to be seen by anyone since this story is now old, but I found a story that puts in perspective some of the anonymous Alceste's spewings.

According to this Aug. 2011 Med City News' article: Nonprofit hospital CEO salaries in the Midwest: Who’s on top? The average nonprofit hospital CEO compensation in the region was about $481,000 (about $40K above CEO Meyer's reported salary) with 9% receiving more than $1 million a year. This came from a 732-hospital survey and related white paper released by Payers & Providers, a California-based health business publisher. The top 20 salaries included: 1. Randall O’Donnell; Children’s Mercy Hospital and Clinics; Kansas City, Missouri: $6 million 7. Lowell Kruse; Heartland Regional Medical Center; St. Joseph, Missouri: $2.5 million 8. Steven Lipstein; BJC Health System; St. Louis, Missouri: $2.2 million Check it out yourself: Just wish I could find the salaries of all the KC hospital CEO's, but alas, they don't have to report if they do not have the "non profit" status. I would like to point out that LMH continues to operate in the black (when many hospital are closing or have been running in the red for years) AND LMH receives NO tax dollars from Lawrence or Douglas County! (which is also unusual)

Alceste 6 years, 1 month ago

What's your point, Belinda Rehmer?

Here's my point (among many): Gene Meyer is paid far too much money by the community of Lawrence, Kansas.

Given that fact.....GUESS what my view is on the other numbers SPEWED by an apologist for a Grade B hospital's "wonder boy"? Go shouldn't be too difficult; the handwriting is on the wall; it's pretty obvious.....but go on now.....guess:

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