Health City Cayman Islands has criticized a BritCay announcement that vastly limits coverage at the East End hospital.
BritCay sent a notice to its clients on March 29 informing them that effective April 1 the company would only authorize and reimburse cardiac-related procedures at Health City.
The hospital’s CEO Dr. Chandy Abraham said the decision was made unilaterally by BritCay and without prior notice to the hospital. BritCay refuted Health City’s claim, saying the hospital was notified a week in advance.
“Our first concern with regard to the announcement by BritCay has been the health and safety of our patients,” Dr. Abraham said. “The policy decision by BritCay appears, in our opinion, to be driven by considerations other than patient welfare and could have a negative impact on patients with regard to convenience, ancillary expenses and the safety of their health.”
The hospital urged that negotiations with BritCay remain transparent. BritCay and Health City were expected to meet Tuesday to discuss coverage updates.
A BritCay spokesperson said the company informed Health City of the change in insurance coverage on March 24 and is working closely with the hospital on reviewing changes.
The insurance provider said it signed an agreement with Health City in 2014 for tertiary level cardiac services, but the hospital has since expanded its scope of services.
“As a result, we have to make sure that all the services provided at Health City are compliant with our contractual requirements,” a company spokesperson said.
The insurer will only cover non-cardiac procedures at Health City that were authorized before April 1.
A BritCay spokesperson said the decision came from parent company Colonial Group and was not intended to send more patients off island for care.
“If a BritCay patient is currently undergoing a previously authorized treatment, for example, but not limited to, chemotherapy, physiotherapy or surgical follow-up, the patients will be allowed to continue with that treatment at Health City,” the company spokesperson said.
“We also understand that there may be circumstances where the need for non-urgent local treatment outside of cardiac-related procedures may be required at Health City and those cases will be considered by BritCay as presented by the referring or attending physician for authorization to provide the care.”
BritCay reminded patients that it will continue to provide access to care at other Cayman Islands facilities and through its network of hospitals in the United States.
Health City said the announcement has raised questions among patients about the hospital’s quality of care.
“We would like to reiterate that Health City provides service of the highest standard to all of our patients. We are the only medical facility in the Cayman Islands that has third party verification of our quality in the form of our accreditation by the Joint Commission International,” Dr. Abraham said. “We are also fully compliant with every government-imposed regulation in the Cayman Islands, as evidenced by the Health Practice Commission accreditation of our services.”
Employers in the Cayman Islands expressed unease as details of the coverage changes came to light.
Paperman’s Coffeehouse manager Paul Storey suggested that the company may drop the insurance provider.
Mr. Storey said in a message to BritCay: “If you are not offering full coverage to allow my employees and myself the opportunity to choose where we receive our medical care within 60 days, I will actively seek out another insurer. I am sure I am not alone in feeling this way.”