Amid Court Battle, BCBS Ends Contract with Knox County Hospital for Federal Employees

Federal employees and retirees in Knox County received notice a day after open enrollment ended that their local hospital would no longer be in-network for Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Service Benefit Plan. In a statement sent to the Times-Record News, BCBS of Texas said the following plans would not longer have Knox County Hospital District in network for the following plans. ParPlan Blue Choice PPOSM Blue EssentialsSM Blue Advantage HMOSM The company directed patients to hospitals 20 and 40 miles away to remain in-network. The statement sent to the Times-Record continues, “Members being treated for a pregnancy, disability, acute condition… Full Story

Expert: How Reference Pricing and Consumerism Reduce Healthcare Costs

Reference pricing leverages a shopping model with an allowance component to give employees an incentive for comparing providers for particular procedures by shifting any costs above a target price to the patient. It’s a consumerism approach that encourages employees to become informed about their healthcare especially with respect to costs.  The Employee Benefits Research Institute estimates industry-wide savings of $9.4 billion or 1.6% of total aggregate US healthcare spend, so it has the potential to lower healthcare costs for the country. Blue Cross Blue Shield developed the shopping model in 2011 for the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPers) and… Full Story