HCA, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas Reach Agreement

HCA and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas have reached a deal on their commercial contract, just 12 days before the existing contract was set to expire, officials said in a statement late Thursday.

“After several months of negotiations, we are pleased to announce that determined efforts from both Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas and Hospital Corporation of America have resulted in an agreement that will keep the health system in BCBSTX’s provider networks,” the statement reads. “This multi-year agreement provides our members with continued access to HCA facilities across the state. As we’ve done for more than 80 years, BCBSTX stands by its members in sickness and health, ensuring quality, affordable health care benefits to our members in all 254 counties in Texas.”

The Dallas Morning News first reported the agreement.

HCA planned to withdraw from BCBSTX BlueChoice PPO/POS, HMO Blue and Traditional/Par Networks if no accord could be reached. HCA North Texas hospitals include Medical Center of Arlington; Medical City Dallas; Denton Regional Medical Center; Plaza Medical Center of Fort Worth; Las Colinas Medical Center; Medical Center of Lewisville; Medical Center of McKinney; North Hills Hospital; and Medical Center of Plano.

Negotiations affected all 39 Texas HCA hospitals, which includes the Methodist Healthcare chain in the San Antonio area, and others. HCA North Texas is the third-largest Dallas-Fort Worth health system, trailing only Baylor Scott & White and Texas Health Resources.

BCBSTX had a similar contract dispute with Texas Health Resources in late 2010. The organizations settled their differences two weeks before the Jan. 1, 2011 deadline.

Posted in Finance, Hospitals, News.