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Deadline extended 48 hours for contract negotiations between MCG Hospital and Clinics and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia

Wednesday, Aug 15, 2012 10:29 AM
Last updated Thursday, Aug 16, 2012 1:44 AM
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Medical College of Georgia Hospital and Clinics and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia insurance have extended the deadline for negotiations on an existing contract.

The contract was to be terminated at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, but it has been extended 48 hours while both sides try to reach an agreement, said MCG spokeswoman Christen Carter.

MCG leaders were supposed to travel to Atlanta on Wednesday to continue the negotiations on new rates, but after a midmorning change in plans, Blue Cross Blue Shield representatives will come to Augusta today.

“Both sides are hoping to reach an agreement before (the deadline),” Carter said.

The standoff began several months ago because MCG said rates have been unchanged since 2003, but Blue Cross contends that the health system’s doctors have received higher than market rates.

The health system set an initial termination date for the contract in January, but has extended it several times while trying to reach an agreement.

Patients with Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance were told about three weeks ago that they might not be able to use MCG or its physicians if contract talks break off.

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Tullie
2930
Points
Tullie 08/15/12 - 10:46 am
1
1
I was wondering about this

as I have BC/BS. I hope they will get this settled. I don't want to go out of town when we have this trauma/specialty center right here.

My great-niece will have to go out of town to see a specialist if they don't reach an agreement.

JRE
62
Points
JRE 08/15/12 - 01:52 pm
1
0
This is typical of the mess

This is typical of the mess our healthcare system is in. Situations like these and cost escalations have led to the creation of "Obamacare" which is a terrible piece of legislation. It does however at least take a step towards healthcare reform - typical of when politicians are left to come up with a solution we get a terrible solution from the Democrats and NO solution from the Republicans.

soapy_725
43772
Points
soapy_725 08/15/12 - 03:04 pm
0
0
BC/BS has NOT eliminated its contracts with
Unpublished

University, Trinity or Doctors. BC/BS has more participating, in network physicians that any other insurance plan. These patients can go to another doctor or hospital that charges "reasonable rates for service". That is what is at issue. Neither BC/BS or Obama are at issue people.

"Blue Cross contends that the health system’s doctors (MCG and Physicians Group and Clinics) have received higher than market rates." For nine years. Unprecedented years for negotiated costs.

MCG charges $10K for a $1K procedure. And that was an outpatient clinic charge. It was so unreasonable that our physician waved his fee.

We know several Medicare Plans that will not use MCG. You are on your own.

As for the Trauma Center, accidental injuries / emergency room care are handled different anyway.

The real world logic is that MCG or what ever is a government hospital and not a "for profit enterprise". But the government creates all things good. Sort of like God and Sin.

soapy_725
43772
Points
soapy_725 08/15/12 - 03:07 pm
0
0
People scream we need to reign in health care cost
Unpublished

and then belly ache because BC/BS of GA tries to moderate unreasonable fees. People want all of their health care cost paid, 100%, no co pays, no deductibles, when, where and with whom it is convenient for them. Welcome to the entitlement world. We deserve the "savior we desire".

soapy_725
43772
Points
soapy_725 08/15/12 - 03:17 pm
0
0
Insurance is a business, not Santa Claus
Unpublished

Monday, at Trinity Hospital talked to three different people with BC/BS group policies in for procedures and we with Medicare Advantage. Different physicians. No issues with getting same care and minimal differences in out of pocket cost. Both insurers pay for routine screenings.

Fiat_Lux
15913
Points
Fiat_Lux 08/15/12 - 05:07 pm
0
0
This is typical of BC/BS

I am a big fan of free-market capitalism, but those enterprising wonks at BC/NS could squeeze blood out of a turnip. They are in the process of doing exactly that right now, with MCG being the turnip.

They try to tell us that increasing what they reimburse MCG for patient care would drive up the cost of membership premiums.

WHAT TOTAL HOGWASH! Those liars will raise membership premiums just as they have been doing all along no matter what the outcome is in this game of chicken. The only question is how much MCG patients will have to suffer in the process.

I guarantee you that BC/BS employees have gotten salary raises more than once over the past 9 years, but they haven't increased what they reimburse MCG for a routine blood panel test in that long. And how much do you think the cost of those has risen in the last 9 years?

The reality is that BC/BS actually is paying MCG less and less every single year they don't adjust the reimbursement rate to keep pace with the real costs of patient care. Those syringes and rapid strep tests certainly have not stayed the same price; they have risen exponentially just like every other area of medical care, just like the price of water and electricity have.

And yet BC/BS weenies have the unmitigated nerve to act like MCG is being unreasonable and putting patients in the middle of this.

Sickening.

Just My Opinion
5886
Points
Just My Opinion 08/15/12 - 05:06 pm
1
0
Y'all have forgetten that

Y'all have forgetten that this same exact situation occurred several years ago at Trinity Hospital...I think it was St. Joseph back then. It got worked out, but not until after it dragged on for a while.

Fiat_Lux
15913
Points
Fiat_Lux 08/15/12 - 05:09 pm
0
1
Haven't forgotten.

Just sick of the BC/BS blackmail exploiting patients as pawns in their greedy little games.

r
408
Points
r 08/15/12 - 06:06 pm
1
1
Azziz

How many places can he screw up before leaves?

HighSociety
1840
Points
HighSociety 08/16/12 - 12:08 am
1
0
BC/BS also just went through

BC/BS also just went through this with Doctors Hospital 6 months ago. I'm sure they will come to some type of agreement.

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