CommonSpirit Health terminating services at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas

Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 3:25 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Health insurance provider Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) has said that CommonSpirit Health has notified the insurance provider that they intend to leave the network on Dec. 16, 2020. This change would affect customers in Brazos, Burleson, Grimes, Madison, and Montgomery counties.

A statement from BCBSTX said the insurance company is working towards a mutually beneficial agreement.

“In terminating our contracts, CommonSpirit is not honoring agreements that kept its hospitals in our networks through 2021,” the statement said. “Instead, we are forced to renegotiate and divert our attention from the global pandemic at hand.”

A statement from CHI St. Luke’s Health said that after months of discussions and negotiations, CHI St. Luke’s Health, including Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, issued a written 180-day Notice of Termination with Intent to Renegotiate to BCBSTX.

According to the insurance company, CommonSpirit is proposing rate increases that would drive up the cost of health care in Houston, Bryan-College Station, Lufkin and the rest of the southeast Texas communities they serve. They said that BCBSTX reimbursed CHI St. Luke’s Health at rates far below those of other similar healthcare providers in the market for years.

CHI St. Luke’s Health system and Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center said they are in jeopardy without reasonable reimbursement rates from BCBSTX

“It is unfortunate that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas has not been more willing to reimburse at levels that enable us to provide essential services," said Dr. T. Doug Lawson, CEO of CHI St. Luke’s Health. "We were forced to issue the notice in an effort to motivate Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas to agree to rates that enable us to preserve access and care to critical health services for the patients we serve throughout our region, especially as our community reels from the impact of COVID-19.”

“We think the demands are unreasonable and will do all we can to represent our members and customers in this negotiation,” the statement from BCBSTX said. "We want fair contracts that balance the need of our members and providers.

The following facilities are part of this negotiation:

Hospital or Surgery CenterAddressCityCounty
St Joseph Regional Health Center2801 Franciscan DrBryanBrazos
Burleson St. Joseph Health Center1101 Woodson DriveCaldwellBurleson
CHI St. Joseph Health College Station Hospital1604 Rock Prairie RdCollege StationBrazos
CHI St. Luke’s Health Baylor College Medicine Medical Center6720 Bertner AvenueHoustonHarris
St. Luke’s Hospital at The Vintage20171 Chasewood Park DrHoustonHarris
Brazosport Regional Health System100 Medical DriveLake JacksonBrazoria
Memorial Medical Center Livingston1717 Hwy 59 BypassLivingstonPolk
Memorial Medical Center of East Texas1201 West Frank AvenueLufkinAngelina
Madison St. Joseph Health Center100 W Cross StreetMadisonvilleMadison
Grimes St. Joseph Health Center210 South Judson StreetNavasotaGrimes
St. Luke’s Patients Medical Center4600 E Sam Houston Pkwy SPasadenaHarris
Memorial Medical Center San Augustine511 Hospital StreetSan AugustineSan Augustine
St. Luke’s Sugar Land Hospital1317 Lake Pointe PkwySugarlandFort Bend
St. Luke’s Lakeside Hospital LLC17400 St Lukes WayThe WoodlandsMontgomery
St. Luke’s The Woodlands Hospital17200 St Lukes WayThe WoodlandsMontgomery

If CHI St. Luke’s is unable to reach a mutual agreement with BCBSTX by December 16, 2020, the termination will take effect. During this period, CHI St. Luke’s Health remains in-network with BCBSTX.

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