Texas Health and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas Have Signed a New Contract

Texas Health Resources and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas signed a new contract that will keep the Arlington-based hospital system’s hundreds of care sites in-network for plan holders of the state’s largest insurance company.

The two parties agreed to terms on Thursday and signed the contract, which will last through 2018. It was signed just two days before expiration. After Christmas, Texas Health and Blue Cross agreed on financial terms but couldn’t get past a 90-day exit clause that the hospital system requested be included in the final contract. It’s not clear whether that made it in, but each party seemed adamant in their beliefs that it be included or not before they’d sign anything.

The two also haven’t disclosed what the final rate is, but Texas Health had requested a 5 percent increase of about $56 million, to which Blue Cross balked at agreeing to. The nonprofit also wanted a new contract to include its new, clinically integrated network with UT Southwestern Medical Center’s physicians, called Southwestern Health Resources.

The companies announced the resolution in a brief, jointly-released press release Thursday evening.

“Through determined efforts on both sides of the table, the agreement will keep Texas Health Resources in the HMO Blue Texas (Blue Essentials), Blue Choice PPO (BCA), Blue Advantage HMO (BAV) and Blue Cross Medicare Advantage PPO networks with no disruption in service,” it read.

It’s estimated that about 150,000 North Texas were at risk of being flung out of network on Jan. 1 had the two not signed a new deal.