Billing & Insurance

Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield Updates

October 16th, 2023

Dear Patients,

     Thank you for your patience as we advocate to continue our contract with Excellus.  Although you may have received a letter from Excellus suggesting continued network coverage, the language is misleading as our current contract is set to terminate on December 31, 2023 and—in spite of truly heartwarming advocacy by patients and community organizations on our behalf—Excellus has still not offered us a fair contract for January 1, 2024 onward.  

     As we cannot guarantee we will be in network beyond December 31, 2023, if you wish to be guaranteed coverage for care in our office beyond this date, we urge you to contact your Human Resources Department to see if they will offer you an alternative insurer.  At the time of this writing, we participate with every other insurance.

     As we have done throughout this process, our team will continue to do all we can to remain accessible and sustainable for our valued patients.

Dermatology Associates of Ithaca

P.S.  If you have Medicare as your primary insurance, your care will continue to be covered regardless of our Excellus BCBS network status; however, if you would like to explore other options, expert consultant Shelby Wadsworth would be happy to help you free of charge:

August 30, 2023

Dear Patients,

     We are happy to announce that thanks to your many phone calls and emails, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield has extended our contract through the end of this year to December 31, 2023!   However, we still need a contract for 2024 which is rapidly approaching.

     As your advocacy truly makes a difference, please continue to call (number on the back of your card) or email (link to contact form below) Excellus to encourage them to extend us a long-term contract so that our practice may stay in network at our current rates.

     Please do not hesitate to let us know if you have any questions or concerns.  As always, we will continue to do all we can to keep providing excellent care to our patients and community!

Warmly and with deep thanks,
Dermatology Associates of Ithaca

Online Form for contacting Excellus:

August 21, 2023

Dear Patients,

     We are grateful for your many phone calls to Excellus on behalf of our patients, practice, and community!  We are thankful for the extension of our current rates through September 30, 2023; however, with our commitment to providing stable long-term Dermatology care for our patients, our patients and practice need a long-term contract.  Please know that despite what you may hear, we are NOT asking for higher rates than other practices in Ithaca, only a continuation of our current rates.  

     At this point it would be most helpful if you could call the number on the back of your Excellus card or send a message through the below online form to reiterate the importance of continuing your care in network, at our current rates in a long-term contract, with Dermatology Associates of Ithaca.

     Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions or concerns anytime.

Warmly and with appreciation,
Dermatology Associates of Ithaca

Online Form for contacting Excellus:

Previous Updates:

July 1st, 2023

Dear Patients, 

     We are happy to announce that, after many calls and emails from our wonderful patients and local employers, Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield (“Excellus”) has agreed to keep our practice in network through the end of September 2023.  

     What this means for you as a patient is that there will be no change in your coverage for care with our practice through the end of September 2023.  

      We are thrilled to be able to continue caring for our Excellus patients in network, and deeply grateful for everyone’s support and advocacy; however, knowing that we face termination if an agreement is not reached by the end of September, we encourage you and your employers to please continue to advocate with Excellus.

     Our community needs Dermatology care and our team deserves to be paid fairly, not to take a pay cut for doing the same work—let’s make sure Excellus knows this and preserves access to this valuable service to our patients and community.

Excellus BCBS Phone: Please use the customer care number on the back of your card.  Excellus BCBS Contact Page:

Warmly and with gratitude, Josephine McAllister, MD FAAD

June 23, 2023

A Message from our Lead Physician Dr. Josephine McAllister

Dear Patients,

     We greatly value you and your families and are proud to provide dermatological care to all of you who have become like a family to all of us.  We would like to take this opportunity to inform those with Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield (“Excellus”) insurance that you may receive a notification from Excellus stating that, effective July 1, 2023, Dermatology Associates of Ithaca will no longer be part of its provider network.  It is important to note that Excellus’ decision is a result of many factors completely outside of our control.  At the present time, we are doing everything in our power to maintain our status with Excellus.

     We will continue to do our best to negotiate in good faith with Excellus BCBS and will keep you updated on the situation.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding this situation, please feel free to contact Excellus BCBS at (315) 798-4200 or your Human Resources department.

     For now, our practice remains in network with Excellus BCBS.  As this is an unprecedented situation, our team will be available to answer any questions that arise and to help and support our patients through the process.  As always, we look forward to providing you and all of our patients with our very best care.

Sincerely yours,
Josephine C. McAllister, MD FAAD

1.  Why is Dermatology Associates of Ithaca renegotiating its insurance contracts?
     In December 2022, our practice was unilaterally and suddenly terminated from Cayuga Health Partners—a previously collaborative association between local physicians and Cayuga Medical Center.  In our view, the termination was the culmination of over a decade of pressure from Cayuga Medical Center and its representatives that we refer certain pathology services to providers in the association rather than to those that we feel, in our professional opinion, provide the best care.
2.  Why has Excellus BCBS not offered Dermatology Associates of Ithaca a signable contract?
     All of the major insurance carriers have extended the same rates to our practice as when we were part of Cayuga Health Partners--with the exception of Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield.  Our team members have been here for our patients through the pandemic and do not deserve a major pay cut while providing the same high quality care.

Dermatology Associates of Ithaca accepts the following insurance care plans*:

√ Aetna
√ Excellus BlueShield BlueCross
√ The Empire Plan
√ HealthNow
√ Independent Health

√ Martin’s Point (US Family Health Plan)
√ Medicare (Free help for your Medicare questions,
√ Medicaid
√ MVP/Cigna
√ Lifetime Benefits Solutions
√ Wellcare Medicare
√ Molina Healthcare

*While we try to be as informed as possible of our insurance partners, we do not know everything about every insurance plan. It is the responsibility of the patient to check with their insurance company to make sure our office is in network and their visit will be covered.

Have a balance? We are pleased to offer three easy ways to pay your bill!

1) Click here to pay online:

2) Call our friendly billing team at: (607) 220-8411

    (Please leave a message and someone will return your call!)

3) Mail your payment to:
    Dermatology Associates of Ithaca, Billing Department
    PO Box 91
    Solvay NY 13209-0091

 The Dermatology Associates of Ithaca team is dedicated to providing patients with the best possible care including high quality billing services through our partner MedSelect .

Contact Us

Phone: (607) 257-1107

Fax: (607) 257-0369