Patients May Pay More for Medical Bills

8 years 3 days 17 hours ago Tuesday, December 14 2010 Dec 14, 2010 Tuesday, December 14, 2010 10:08:42 PM CST December 14, 2010 in News
COLUMBIA - An insurance dispute might cause patients at Boone Hospital Center to pay more money to get treatment. That will occur if Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield and the hospital don't agree on a new contract. The two companies sign an agreement every three years. However, a new contract has still not been signed.

The hospital wants more money from Anthem for the procedures it provides. Anthem, however, does not want to pay more to the hospital. Hospital president Dan Rothery released a statement saying, "BJC Healthcare is currently engaged in ongoing negotiations to extend our provider contract with Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield. We are working diligently to avoid any disruption in access to the BJC hospitals and physicians. It is not unusual for hospitals and insurers to negotiate terms and we feel confident that there will be an agreement by the end of the year."

If a patient starts treatment before 2011 begins, and the two companies still have not agreed, that patient won't have to pay the new rates. Anthem sent out a message to its policy-holders saying they might have to pay higher rates for coverage at Boone Hospital.

If Boone Hospital looses partnership with Anthem, three hospitals in Columbia -- the University of Missouri Hospital and Clinics, Columbia Regional Hospital, and the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital carry Anthem. In Jefferson City, St. Mary's Health Center and the Capital Regional Medical Center also remain network hospitals with the insurer.



 

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