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Web Gives Complaint Legs

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A Midwestern health insurer has learned first-hand this week about the power of the blogosphere.

An individual who says she is a consumer posted a complaint Monday on the Web message board at

The message board poster, who could not immediately be reached for comment, writes in the post that her carrier, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, Kansas City, Mo., misclassified a claim for an emergency room visit for a miscarriage as a claim for an elective abortion, then required her to get the hospital to fax records to it to prove that the emergency room visit was for a miscarriage rather than an abortion.

The poster writes in a follow-up post that a hospital billing clerk told her that Kansas City Blue initially treats many miscarriage claims as elective abortion claims.

By mid-Tuesday, bloggers had posted the original post or excepts from the post on at least 21 blogs, according to results reported by the Google Blog Search search engine.

Because of privacy concerns, Kansas City Blue cannot comment on the specific claim described in the message board post, a company spokeswoman says.

Problems can occur in the claims process because of the complexity of the coding process, the spokeswoman says.

But “we absolutely do not deny miscarriage claims as elective abortions,” the spokeswoman says.


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