Blue Shield Reaches Contract Agreement with Three San Jose Hospitals
Blue Shield of California has reached an agreement with three San Jose hospitals that will keep the facilities in the insurer's preferred provider network, the San Jose Mercury News reports. Blue Cross had decided to drop the hospitals -- San Jose Regional Medical Center, Regional Medical Center of San Jose and Good Samaritan Hospital -- last month during a "dispute" over reimbursement rates. However, both sides continued to negotiate and agreed on a new contract yesterday. Over the last month, Blue Shield continued to cover procedures at the three hospitals that were scheduled before July 1, in addition to patients who were "undergoing a course of treatment" such as chemotherapy. Had the insurer and the hospitals not reached an agreement, about 75,000 Blue Shield members would have had to switch hospitals, switch doctors or pay higher out-of-pocket costs. Leslie Kelsay, a spokesperson for the hospitals, said, "Neither party got everything they wanted, but both parties got enough. It's an agreement that both parties can live with" (Feder, San Jose Mercury News, 8/2).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.