Hospital, Blue Cross in contract negotiations
Blue Cross of California, one of the state’s largest insurance providers, wants to re-negotiate its current health plan agreement with Tahoe Forest Hospital.
In late January, Tahoe Forest was notified of Blue Cross’ aim to decrease the hospital’s reimbursement rate and to re-negotiate the contract in place at the hospital since 1996.
The two parties are currently in negotiations, said Paige Nebeker, Tahoe Forest’s director of marketing and communications. The hospital is studying potential impacts the reimbursement rate change may have on its services, she said.
“We’re looking at lots of different scenarios,” Nebeker said.
In an e-mail interview, Tammy Taylor, Blue Cross spokesperson, said the request to re-negotiate came about after the company’s routine monitoring of hospital trends.
Regularly reviewing contract agreements is a common practice between commercial health plans and hospitals, said Bob Schapper, CEO of Tahoe Forest Hospital, in a news release.
“While this happens all the time in hospitals throughout the country, it’s really the first time we have had a challenge of this nature by Blue Cross at Tahoe Forest Hospital,” Schapper said.
The current health plan contract includes information such as how the hospital gets reimbursed, what patients are charged, and outlines various patient circumstances.