CHI Health preparing to be out-of-network as negotiations with BCBS continue

Aug 22, 2014

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska and CHI Health continue to negotiate as the deadline for a new agreement approaches.

A contract between the insurance provider and hospital system expires August 31st. Without a new agreement by then, CHI Health patients will pay out-of-network costs for care. The two sides met twice this week and will meet three times next week.

Ann Oasan, Vice President of the Clinically Integrated Network for UniNet, a collaboration of CHI Health physicians and hospitals, says UniNet is preparing to be out-of-network after the 31st. She says UniNet has offered to freeze hospital rates for two years and review total cost of care for the past three years. 

The out-of-network designation would apply to all CHI Health hospitals and providers in Nebraska. Lee Handke, Senior Vice President of Health Network Services for Blue Cross Blue Shield, says the insurer has offered to separate those. He says BCBS doesn't have a disagreement with the facilities outside of Omaha. Handke says the insurer also offered to remove mental health services from the dispute.

Blue Cross Blue Shield says the two sides are at odds over costs. UniNet says the dispute is over payment based on the value of services.