Quality Health Plans HMO to close doors Thursday

Quality Health Plans, once touted as the No. 1 Medicare Advantage health maintenance organization in Pasco and Hernando counties, will cease operations Thursday, according to the Florida Department of Financial Services.

Second Judicial District Judge Terry Lewis ordered Quality Health Plans into receivership on Nov. 15.

“The Florida Department of Financial Services is the court appointed Receiver of Quality. Without further court action, Quality has been ordered liquidated effective Dec. 1, 2011,” the order states.

Officials say the state sought receivership of the company solely based on QHP’s finances, with no findings of fraud or misconduct.

QHP is headquartered in Tampa and had an office in Holiday at one time. The Medicare HMO is physician-owned, according to its website. The company is run by president Haider A. Khan, M.D.; his son Nazeer H. Khan, M.D., who is CEO; and daughter Sabiha H. Khan, the COO, according to HealthNews Florida.

The firm reported around 17,000 total clients in 32 Florida counties and four counties in New York. The court order estimates the firm represents 10,000 clients in Florida. In the Tampa Bay area, the HMO offered coverage in Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Polk and Sarasota counties.

The Florida Department of Financial Services said Quality members’ health care coverage continues uninterrupted during the period and providers will honor the insurance. However, Quality’s health care contracts will terminate on Thursday.

Officials said clients will be moved to another coverage plan, have the option to change plans or return to traditional Medicare after Thursday.

Financial Services says clients are not liable to any provider for any services covered by the HMO up until Thursday under Section 641.3154, Florida Statutes.

Additionally, health care providers and their representatives are prohibited from attempting to collect payment from the HMO subscribers for services.

“If you are contacted by a health care provider for such payment, you should inform the provider of this law.

“You may also want to contact Quality regarding the problem,” the Financial Services website says.

All clients served by QHP will be notified by mail by Financial Services or the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. More information as it becomes available is to be posted on the Financial Services website at  www.myfloridacfo.com/receiver.

According to the QHP website, the company began partnering with Medicare patients on Jan. 1, 2003.

A year later, HealthMetrix Research ranked QHP the number one HMO in Hernando and Pasco counties.

QHP’s troubles started last year. The company was suspended from the federal Medicare program in May 2010 and fined nearly $600,000 following a rash of enrollee complaints about billing glitches, improper denials and delays of medication, and failure to provide an adequate appeals and grievance process, court documents say.

The http://myfloridafo.com/receiver website offers answers to frequently asked questions.

For more information from the company, call (813) 574-1640;the mailing address is 4010 Gunn Highway, Suite 220, Tampa 33618-8744.

Call customer services toll-free at (866) 747-2700; providers may call (727) 945-8400, ext. 8515.

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