officials say they have reached a stalemate in negotiations with Blue
Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee. Therefore, without an agreement or
extension, on August 1st Memorial will be "out-of-network" with
"We had hoped they would accept this 30-day extension
so we could finalize the details of the contract while remaining
in-network," said Jim Hobson, president and CEO of Memorial Health Care
Memorial physicians, The Chattanooga Heart Institute
physicians, and Memorial Mission Surgery Center are not affected by
these negotiations and will remain in-network.
In an e-mailed
news release Memorial said it has taken steps to protect its patients
with BlueCross health insurance from additional financial burden.
a typical situation where patients receive out-of-network services from
us, we would collect additional copayment and/or coinsurance amounts
from patients because their health plan would pay less of our charges,"
said Hobson. "However, we are extending our discounted in-network
rates to patient and to their plan, even though we are now
out-of-network, and we will not need to collect such additional amounts
from our patients, even though Tennessee law would otherwise allow it.
We will take care of our patients no matter what," he said.
says its last proposal, "a long-term contract with annual rate
adjustments well below Blue Cross premium increases,"is on the table
for BlueCross to consider.
"We remain open to discussions, and we
hope BlueCross will do the same," said Hobson. "Yet, as it
stands, Memorial will be out of network on August 1st."
Patients can contact Memorial at 423-495-2286 with questions.
This announcement comes on the same day Memorial announced the layoff of 70 employees