BCBS Brings Hospital Contract Negotiations Public

dirtylaundry“We cannot in good conscience agree to terms that would increase the amounts our customers pay…….” – BCBSTX

March 17, 2016

An Update for Employers Regarding Valley Regional Medical Center and Rio Grande Regional Hospital

We want to make you aware that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) has been in discussions with Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), which operates Valley Regional Medical Center and Rio Grande Regional Hospital.

While negotiations continue in good faith, unless we reach an agreement, Valley Regional Medical Center and Rio Grande Regional Hospital will no longer be part of the BCBSTX BlueChoice® PPO/POS, HMO Blue® Texas and Traditional/Par Plan networks effective May 1, 2016.

We value our relationship with Valley Regional Medical Center and Rio Grande Regional Hospital and it is our hope that they will choose to remain in our provider network. However, we also have a commitment to our employer groups and members to provide access to quality, affordable health care benefits.

We are sensitive to rising health care costs and the burden it puts on our customers. We cannot in good conscience agree to terms that would increase the amounts our customers pay when they visit Valley Regional Medical Center and Rio Grande Regional Hospital.

If Valley Regional Medical Center and Rio Grande Regional Hospital are no longer in certain BCBSTX networks, our members in south Texas will still have access to a large network of quality and credentialed hospitals, urgent care clinics, retail health clinics, specialists and physicians.

Members planning to undergo a procedure or surgery, who would like to know their options for in-network care, should speak with their referring physicians for assistance in transferring facilities. Members also can contact the customer service number on their member ID card with questions about in-network care, and can visit our Provider Finder® online tool to determine in-network health care options that are available in their area.

We will continue working to keep Valley Regional Medical Center and Rio Grande Regional Hospital in our network.

We will keep you updated on the situation. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your BCBSTX representative.

Editor’s Note: We have seen this happen through the years. Both sides publicly beat their chests. One side says it is unconscionable to make consumers pay more while the other side beats their chests just as vigorously that they can’t operate at a loss, especially after giving charity care away in the millions (based on egregious charge master rates of course). At the end of the day, both sides will hold hands and announce to the public both got what they wanted in the first place. No more dirty laundry for the next three years after which the contract expires again…………………

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