November 26, 2015

Blue Cross – CHI Nebraska contract ends Monday

As it stands right now Blue Cross Blue Shield’s contract with 12 CHI Nebraska hospitals and about 1,400 health care providers ends September 1st. The two have been in negotiations for months after Blue Cross sent notice to end their contract because CHI Nebraska charged 20% to 30% more compared to other facilities for the same service.

Chief Executive Officer of Alegent Creighton Health / CHI Nebraska Cliff Robertson says there are gray areas. He says those with a Medicare Blue Cross supplement will not be impacted by the change. He says the contract is still in effect for all policyholders but Blue Cross is denying care forms for patients with behavioral health issues and they have received notice they are not paying for some procedures. Robertson says this is very disappointing.

A compromise isn’t likely Robertson says, “I’m not so optimistic. The signals we received from Blue Cross are they really want to push us out of network. We are preparing to be out of network. We don’t know how long we will be out of network but we are preparing to be out of network.”

Robertson says they asked for an extension to work things through but were denied.

CHI Nebraska consists of 12 hospitals in Nebraska and up to 1,400 health care providers. Policyholders can still use those facilities but being out of network means much higher out-of-pocket costs.

Correction made from original story in second paragraph.  Those with Medicare will not be impacted.

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