– TheraMatrix, a small Michigan firm gave Ford Motor Co. a proposal to cut its physical therapy costs. The automaker signed up for an in-state pilot program, which ended up being so successful that Ford expanded it last year, increasing national coverage to about 390,000 employees, retirees and family members.
This cost-saving program came under attack from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
“They tried to destroy us,” says Robert Whitton, a physical therapist who founded TheraMatrix in 1981. TheraMatrix has cut Ford’s physical therapy costs by about half, Whitton says, saving millions of dollars annually. Under Blue Cross, Ford’s costs averaged $745,000 a month just in Michigan, he says. “We shouldn’t have been in this position for creating a program that helped save health care costs.”
Blue Cross denies trying to hurt TheraMatrix’s business.
USA Today quotes Blue Cross’ general counsel Jeffrey Rumley, “The picture that they’re trying to paint is the big whatever giant with a chainsaw in his hand coming down on the little guy, I just don’t buy into that too easily.”