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Baylor Scott & White, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas reach temporary contract agreement

Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center is located at 1400 Eighth Ave. in Fort Worth. Opened in 1906, the Fort Worth hospital has 538 licensed beds.
David Moreno
Fort Worth Report
Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center is located at 1400 Eighth Ave. in Fort Worth. Opened in 1906, the Fort Worth hospital has 538 licensed beds.

Baylor Scott & White Health and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas have agreed to extend health provider and facility contracts — for now.

The extension means Baylor Scott & White providers and facilities will remain in network for patients who are covered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield health insurance.

The two North Texas companies will extend their contracts to Oct. 1 as they continue working to finalize a longer-term agreement.

If an agreement is not reached by October, Blue Cross and Blue Shield members, in and out of state, will have to pay out of pocket or higher rates for Baylor Scott & White doctors and facilities. This includes the health system’s hospitals, clinics, ambulatory surgery centers, imaging centers, surgery centers and urgent care facilities.

“We have a long and positive relationship with BSW, but you are our priority,” Blue Cross and Blue Shield said in a statement. “We want to reach an agreement that will continue to give you access to BSW doctors and hospitals at fair prices.”

A spokesperson for Baylor Scott & White Health said the health system and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas “share a commitment to the health and well-being of the patients and members we serve.”

The temporary agreement follows a contract dispute between the two companies over reimbursement rates.

A Blue Cross and Blue Shield spokesperson previously told the Fort Worth Report the health insurer was notified that Baylor Scott & White will terminate its contract “unless we significantly increase what we pay them.”

Before the extension, patients were notified through mail and emails that the two companies were working to reach an agreement by July 1.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield members who want to continue receiving care from a Baylor Scott & White provider could see an increased cost in care after Oct. if an agreement is not reached, according to the health system’s website.

Patients who are already hospitalized or undergoing treatment before Oct. 1 may still qualify for coverage. Patients who are pregnant or being treated for an acute condition, disability or life-threatening illness may qualify for Continuity of Care benefits through Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

Eligible patients must apply by filing a Continuity of Care form on the health insurer’s website. Patients can also call the number on the back of their insurance card to request a form. Since Blue Cross and Blue Shield approves and denies requests, Baylor Scott & White cannot provide status updates.

Between June 27 and Oct. 1, there will be no disruptions to anyone’s in-network coverage, a Baylor Scott & White spokesperson said in an email.

Baylor Scott & White advises patients to keep appointments they have scheduled on or after Oct. 1, as canceling services could “delay care, and it may not be necessary if an agreement is reached before the current contract expires.”

David Moreno is the health reporter for the Fort Worth Report. His position is supported by a grant from Texas Health Resources. Contact him at david.moreno@fortworthreport.org or @davidmreports.

At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

This article first appeared on Fort Worth Report and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

Copyright 2024 KERA

David Moreno| Fort Worth Report