HCS/335 Health Care Ethics and Social Responsibility
June 3, 2013
Anthem Blue Cross is a major health insurance provider with approximately 800,000 customers and has more individual policyholders in California than any other insurance provider in the United States ("Anthem BlueCross BlueShield," 2012). Anthem Blue Cross has informed some of its San Francisco base policyholders that their medications will only be available through mail order. A Consumer Watchdog group is working with a patient, for privacy reasons he does not want his identity to be known, to sue Anthem Blue Cross for discrimination. I will discuss the issues and its significance on the most ...view middle of the document...
The Consumer Watchdog group believes that is a violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act, a piece of California legislation that specifically outlaws discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, marital status, or sexual orientation ("CA.gov," 2010). The Consumer Watchdog group argued that there is a major privacy issue with concerns about who will see the prescriptions delivered. The Consumer Watchdog group’s argument also include that many insurance companies encourage the use of mail order pharmaceutical, but the difference is that Anthem Blue Cross policy literally demands the use of mail prescriptions. HIV/AIDS patients like Jon Doe can buy their drugs from their local pharmacy but Anthem Blue Cross will not reimburse them and that mean he would have to pay-out-of pocket. For some HIV/AIDS patients, which could cost them $2,400 a month or more.
The ethical issue for Anthem Blue Cross would be requiring their policyholders to use mail order pharmacies for their prescriptions or pay-out-of pocket vs. allowing specialty patients such as HIV/AIDS patients to continue their personal relationship with their pharmacist because it is critical to their health. By allowing HIV/AIDS patients to pick up their prescriptions would also eliminate the privacy issue. The legal issue for Anthem Blue Cross is possible violation of the “Unruh Civil Rights Act” for discrimination.
Anthem Blue Cross’ managerial responsibilities are related to the administrative ethical issues by understanding the organization mission and vision statement. In a statement Anthem Blue Cross told 7 On Your Side television news “Beyond the cost savings and confidentiality & care provided by the specialty pharmacies is associated with patients being more likely to take critical prescription drugs as directed... Anthem's policies do not discriminate on the basis of disease states, and they are reasonable and compliant with applicable laws” (Finney, 2013). With that statement Anthem Blue Cross management stood behind the organizational ethical beliefs and legal requirements.
With the Consumer Watchdog group’s charge of discrimination and privacy issues regarding Anthem Blue Cross, a propose ethical solution could be for Anthem Blue Cross to give discounts to specialty patients such as HIV/AIDS patients, to continue their...