Lancaster said, in a news conference on Tuesday, that they are simply asking for the same rates that other hospitals receive.
"We have confirmed that our rates are lower than what others are paid and we that's all that we are asking for is to get our rates to be the same as what is paid to other hospitals of similar size to us," explains Lancaster.
Lancaster explains that this decision was not made hastily, its something they have been working on for a long time. "We have come to this point every year for the past four years and we have backed off and said that we are not going to put the community through this. And after four years of doing that, we finally said we can't do it again, " says Lancaster.
According to Blue Cross Blue Shield, for the amount and quality of care that Hendrick provides, the proposed increase was far too much. "In the end, they would not change their original demand for a 40 percent increase in their reimbursement rate, we thought that was too high, " explains Dr. Dan McCoy, a Blue Cross Blue Shield representative.
According to McCoy, the cost would have been passed along to Blue Cross Blue Shield members."If we would have accepted this unreasonable offer, we would have added millions of dollars each year to the cost of care for our members here in Abilene and across Texas," says McCoy.
Lancaster did say that although they have not negotiated with Blue Cross since the deadline, they plan communicate with them soon to get things solved as quickly as they can.
With both sides seemingly firm in their decisions, it is unclear as to when the around 75,000 Big Country Blue Cross Blue Shield members will be able to walk out of the doors of Hendrick Medical Center without their pockets feeling a little light.