Blue Shield, UCLA Medical Center Split Over Payment Rates
Blue Shield of California will no longer contract with the University of California-Los Angeles Medical Center after negotiations over reimbursements reached an impasse on Tuesday, both sides side, the Los Angeles Times reports.
According to Blue Shield spokesperson Tom Epstein, UCLA's "demands were well in excess of what comparable facilities have been receiving."
UCLA spokesperson Roxanne Yamaguchi Moster said, "Blue Shield has been unable to provide UCLA with an offer that adequately reimburses ... for the high-quality, complex care that is provided to its members." UCLA recently was ranked fifth-best hospital in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
About 4,000 Blue Shield members will be affected by the change. PPO members will be able to seek care at UCLA but will have to pay higher out-of-pocket costs for services other than emergency care. Blue Shield members who have scheduled surgeries at the center or are receiving treatment for serious illnesses will not be affected.
According to the Times, the "split underscores the growing financial pressures faced by" insurers and hospitals as health care costs continue to increase (Yi, Los Angeles Times, 7/13).