Letters mistakenly sent to some Anthem patients saying practice out of network

Photo: Anthem
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — An optometrist is asking her patients and others with Anthem to double-check with their medical providers after letters were sent out to some patients with Anthem insurance.

Dr. Mary Lee Pemberton said some of her patients reached out after receiving a letter that said Pemberton Eye was no longer in their network.

Dr. Pemberton said after reaching out to Anthem, they found it was an issue on Anthem’s end. Dr. Pemberton said the letter could cause people to leave her practice, which can be hard if they’re undergoing treatment.

"It can create a panic," Dr. Pemberton said. "And we just want to make sure that patients are aware that this happened in error and that it's not going to affect their current coverage."

Dr. Pemberton said Anthem told them they were planning to send out a letter to patients, apologizing for the error. Dr. Pemberton said she just wants to make sure her patients know they can still come to her for treatment, and their visits will be covered.

"We've never had an issue with Anthem,” Dr. Pemberton said. “Like I said, Anthem is always really easy to deal with, they're easy, generally easy to get people on the phone and help with claims."

In an email to WHSV, Anthem said the error was caused by a coding issue. They also said in a statement that “Anthem sincerely apologizes to our customers and care providers for this error.” They said they’re working to make sure it doesn’t happen again. You can find their full statement below:

Anthem sincerely apologizes to our customers and care providers for this error. We have taken immediate action to correct the problem and help ensure it does not happen again. We are sending updated letters to customers to apologize and explain this was in fact an error on our part, and making it clear their care providers remain in our network.