For the past year, both entities haven't negotiated a conclusion with its existing contracts and have had disputes over medical reimbursement rates. A representative from the insurance company says Hendrick is asking for a big rate increase.
"A very significant rate increase would unfortunately add millions of dollars to the cost of heath care for our Blue Cross Blue Shield members in this community," says Dr. Bob Marrow of BCBSTX.
However, a Hendrick spokesperson said it is normal for hospitals to request an increase as the cost of medical care goes up.
"All we are asking Blue Cross to do is to put something on the table that respects the fact that they have not given us that for multiple years," Jeremy Walker, Hendrick CFO said. "We need that in order to continue to provide the very best care for for the community here in Abilene."
Negotiations haven't resolved problems with renewing a contract between the two and as a result, all Hendrick services, including the rehab center, may be impacted for BCBSTX members by July 1st.
The hospital has started a help line and a micro-site to answer questions and field many phone calls.
"We have fielded about 100 phone calls since the announcement," says Leigh Black, HMC director of marketing. "Most of the questions we receive are about individual plans and access to our services."
If an agreement isn't reached by the June 30th deadline, nearly 10,000 patients (10% of HMC's patients) will be considered out-of-network.
Black says if nothing is resolved, patients can continue to receive all Hendrick Medical services. Patients can call (325) 307-0368 or visit www.ehendrick.org/bcbs.
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