HomeLocal News

BlueCross, CHI Memorial reach agreement for patient coverage

From Local 3 News: UPDATE: Friday, BlueCross BlueShield and CHI Memorial reached an agreement, allowing current patients to be served by the care

From Local 3 News: UPDATE: Friday, BlueCross BlueShield and CHI Memorial reached an agreement, allowing current patients to be served by the care provider as in-network.

 

This is not the first time the two have reached such an agreement after threats of dropping coverage.

 

Another face-off happened in 2021, with both sides reaching a three-year agreement of coverage for patients.

 

That agreement was set to expire in July of 2024.

 

“The new agreement with BCBST includes Network P, Medicare Advantage, and Medicaid. Unfortunately in early May, BCBST made the decision to remove CHI Memorial from Network S effective July 1, 2024. We will work diligently with each Network S patient to find a solution for them to remain with CHI Memorial and its physicians.”

 

Network S patients can learn more online about the options available for them to remain with CHI Memorial and its physicians.

 

Starting July 1, CHI Memorial will no longer be in-network for BlueCross BlueShield members.

 

PREVIOUS STORY: BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has chosen Parkridge Medical Center as its preferred provider, ending its relationship with CHI Memorial Hospital.

 

Starting July 1, CHI Memorial will no longer be in-network for BlueCross BlueShield members.

 

The company chose Parkridge Health System over CHI Memorial because they say Parkridge offered the most affordable deal.

 

As they welcome Parkridge to the ‘Blue Network S,’ Dalya Qualls-White says patients will find several services at different locations across Chattanooga.

 

In an online statement, BlueCross BlueShield looked at bids from both Parkridge and CHI Memorial, analyzing patient quality, experience, and affordability.

 

“Memorial has been a long-time partner of ours, and you know we felt it prudent for our members to make sure we are providing the best care at prices they can afford, and Parkridge gave us the best offer,” said Dalya Qualls-White, BCBST Chief Communications Officer.

 

A statement posted on BlueCross BlueShield’s website says that CHI Memorial’s proposal did not allow them to lower prices for network plans and would have cost members more.

 

CHI Memorial says their removal from the plan affects more than 150,000 BlueCross members.

 

A representative from CHI Memorial sent us this statement, which says BlueCross BlueShield refused to negotiate a fair contract to help them keep up with rising costs despite efforts to continue the discussion.

 

“Despite our sincere efforts to continue meaningful discussions, BCBST has rejected all our proposals that would keep CHI Memorial hospitals and physicians in their networks, including commercial Networks S & P, Medicare Advantage, and Medicaid. This means that beginning July 1, more than 150,000 BlueCross BlueShield members in the Chattanooga area will no longer have access to CHI Memorial services, including The Chattanooga Heart Institute, CHI Memorial Medical Group (the largest physician network in the area), and specialized CHI Memorial services.

 

Since BCBST has rejected all our proposals to keep physicians and hospitals in-network, our physician contract will expire on June 30, along with the hospital contract. We are disappointed that, even though they are sitting on $4.1 billion in reserves, BCBST has refused to agree to a fair contract that helps us cope with our increasing costs.

 

It’s important for patients to know that we are still in-network today, and our contract with BCBST remains in place through June 30, 2024. We are encouraging members to keep all scheduled appointments at CHI Memorial and not delay screenings, procedures, and tests that are important to their health.

 

Patients who want to keep access to CHI Memorial can call BCBST at the number on the back of their insurance card and ask them to reconsider their decision. For up-to-date information and a list of all insurance plans accepted by CHI Memorial, please visit KeepCHIMemorial.org.”

 

What this means for members?

 

If you are a BlueCross member and you see a doctor who is part of CHI Memorial, after June 30, your coverage will end.

 

However, CHI Memorial and BlueCross are working to include other facilities that would accept Network P, BlueCare, and Medicare Advantage.

 

White says BlueCross doesn’t want to disrupt coverage and wants to maintain patient-doctor relationships.

 

“Anytime there’s a change, that might be some anxieties that go along with that, but we want our members to know we’re here to help them,” said White.

 

She says BlueCross will work with every patient to ensure they receive the care they need.

 

BlueCross BlueShield will be in-network with CHI Memorial until the end of June.

 

If you’re a member, you can call the number listed on the back of your insurance card with questions and concerns about your options.

 

Learn more about the new change by clicking here.

 

For additional information for customers, visit BlueCross BlueShield’s website.