ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) - The deadline for negotiations between Hendrick Medical Center and Blue Cross Blue Shield has been extended as the organizations work toward an agreement to keep the hospital in-network for patients.
An updated statement from Hendrick Medical Center released Friday morning reads, "Over the past several months, Hendrick has been working with BCBSTX to negotiate a new contract. We are making progress in our discussions, but have not yet reached an agreement. Thankfully, we all agreed to an extension in our BCBSTX contract that will allow patients to continue to have in-network access to Hendrick Health System facilities, services and physicians until February 15, 2018. This allows us additional time to resolve the issues important to both organizations. "
Initial negotiations began in September and were slated to conclude by December, but that deadline has come and past with no agreement reached.
In a previous statement, Blue Cross Blue Shield said, "we are currently discussing new contracts with Abilene-based Hendrick Medical Center, Hendrick Provider Network and Hendrick Anesthesia Network. We hope to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. Our main goal will continue to be to balance costs with broad access to care," a statement from a BCBS spokesperson reads.
Representatives with the companies are expected to meet in-person soon in hopes of expediting the negotiation process.
Blue Cross Blue Shield says the following will take place if an agreement is not reached:
- Hendrick Medical Center will no longer participate in our Blue Choice PPOSM and ParPlan provider networks. In addition, it will no longer participate in our Blue EssentialsSM network.
- Hendrick Provider Network and Hendrick Anesthesia Network will no longer participate in our Blue Choice PPO, ParPlan or Blue Essentials networks.
Hendrick Medical Center and Blue Cross Blue Shield previously reached an agreement in March of 2016 after the hospital was out of network for 11 months during failed negotiations over reimbursement rates.
Thousands of patients were affected during the previous dispute.
BigCountryHomepage will provide additional details on the negotiations as they are released.
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