September 19, 2023
A Message from our Lead Physician Dr. Josephine McAllister
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. By now you should have received a letter from The Empire Plan insurance stating that, effective November 15, 2025, Dermatology Associates of Ithaca will no longer be part of its provider network. At the present time, we are doing everything in our power to maintain our status with Empire, and it is our intention to remain in Network. This notice is a result of a contracting issue, as we are attempting to renegotiate our current agreements.
For the past 14 years, our practice has accepted rates that are dramatically lower (about 1/3 - 1/2 of the local market rate, and lower than that of our local Medicaid product) than the rates that are typical for our area. Following a re-evaluation of the costs of providing care after the pandemic, and given our long-term commitment to providing top-notch services to all of our patients, our practice has found that we need to advocate for more sustainable rates going forward.
We will continue to do our best to negotiate in good faith with Empire and will keep you updated on the situation. The most effective action you can take at this time is to call your Human Resources Department or the number on the back of your card letting them know of the importance of Empire Plan keeping our practice in network.
For now, our practice remains in network with The Empire Plan. 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.
Josephine C. McAllister, MD FAAD