Blue Cross Blue Shield, St. Francis Announce Deal To Continue Coverage

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas and St. Francis Health Center said Monday they've reached an agreement under St. Francis will remain in the BCBS provider network.

Just last week, the two sides put out word to their consumers that talks were at a standstill in renewing a contract that expires at the end of the year. The rates which BCBS would pay St. Francis for provider services were the issue.

A statement on the BCBS Kansas web site said the company agreed to terms of a new contract with both St. Francis in Topeka and St. John Hospital in Leavenworth. It will allow BCBS members uninterrupted access to the hospitals and their affiliated facilities and physicians.

BCBS says the agreement also provides the company will work with St. Francis in developing a model for reimbursements that will provide incentives for providers to develop initiatives for continuing high-quality care while controlling costs.

“As we move forward in the age of health care reform, we recognize that the current reimbursement model must change in order to incent quality and control spiraling costs,” BCBS Kansas President and CEO Andrew C. Corbin said in a statement posted on the company's web site. “We look forward to working with leaders at St. Francis to research, develop and pilot a mutually acceptable accountable care reimbursement model that, in time, might become the foundation on which we structure payment for many more of our providers. As always, our primary focus will be on assuring our members receive outstanding, quality care while keeping the health insurance premiums they pay affordable.”

St. Francis President and CEO Robert Erickson said the agreement will benefit patients and improve community health.

“Both parties have a shared responsibility to provide convenient access to high-value, high-quality care," Erickson said. "This has resulted in the right agreement for our patients, while ensuring St. Francis can continue to offer the highest level of services, physicians and facilities in the future. We look forward to working with Blue Cross to transform health care in this changing environment.”

The agreement means BCBS Kansas members should not notice changes with their providers. The facilities remain in-network, with applicable deductibles, copays or co-insurance required by their benefits plan.

St. Francis and Saint John also remain in the Plan 65-Select network.

For more information, please visit www.bcbsks.com/network or www.stfrancistopeka.org/bluecrossinformation.


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