Texas Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas Ink Four-Year Contracts in Final Hour

Texas Health Resources and Blue Cross Blue Shied of Texas have come to terms on new four-year contracts to keep the Arlington-based system in-network for BCBSTX plan holders. With the deal set to expire at midnight on Sunday morning, the two sides signed within the final hour, a spokesperson for the insurer says.

A short statement from BCBSTX says the agreement came together “through determined efforts from both sides.”

“We were diligent in our negotiations, we used all the time we had available to us,” BCBSTX Market President Dr. Paul Hain added over the phone this morning. “We wish were able to get it done sooner, but we got it done and that’s the important thing, is that THR will remain in the Blue Cross network.”

BCBSTX had said the negotiations were stuck on what it said amounted to $1 billion in increased payments over four years and “the ability to dictate to local businesses how they design their benefit plans,” Hain said previously. Texas Health called those claims “inaccurate and misleading.”

Hain said today that the resulting agreements amount to “well south of a billion dollars” increase.

Texas Health Public Relations Director Stephen O’Brien responded in a short emailed statement Monday afternoon: “It was always well south of a billion,” he said.

The impasse followed another in late 2016, when Texas Health and BCBSTX signed a deal with two days to spare

Here’s the full statement from BCBSTX, which landed in my inbox on Easter morning at about 2 a.m.:

Agreements Reached With Texas Health Resources

Through determined efforts from both sides, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) and Texas Health Resources agreed on new multi-year contracts that ensure all Texas Health Resources health care professionals and facilities will remain in our provider networks.

The agreements keep Texas Health Resources in our Par Plan as well as our Blue EssentialsSM, Blue Choice PPOSM, Blue Advantage HMOSM and Blue Cross Medicare Advantage PPOSM networks, with no disruption in service.

We thank you for your patience as we continue to work on behalf of our members, local employers and the communities we serve to provide access to cost-effective, quality health care throughout Texas.