Deadline approaching for new Blue Cross Blue Shield-Catholic Health Initiatives contract

Aug 13, 2014

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska is holding a town hall meeting Thursday in Omaha as negotiations with Catholic Health Initiatives continue.

The two sides have until August 31st to reach an agreement on a new contract. If no agreement is reached by then, all Alegent Creighton doctors and hospitals will be out-of-network for Blue Cross Blue Shield policy holders.

Andy Williams, Director of Consumer Marketing for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska, says the negotiations center on what policy holders pay for care.

"We are really doing this on their behalf to try and get costs down, especially in the Omaha area where Alegent Creighton facilities, CHI facilities, are 10 to 30 percent higher than other providers in the area."

Ann Oasan is Vice President of the Clinically Integrated Network for UniNet. It’s a collaboration of Alegent and CHI physicians, hospitals, and ancillary facilities. The Blue Cross Blue Shield contract is with UniNet. Oasan says there are two issues: value, and the language of the contract.

"We would like to have a contract that just isn’t pay us based on everything we do, but more based on as you talk about value or doing a shared savings contract or a risk-based contract."

Oasan says UniNet presented Blue Cross Blue Shield with a new contract proposal Monday. The two sides are meeting three times a week leading up to the August 31st deadline. Williams and Oasan say they’re hopeful an agreement will be reached.

The town hall meeting begins at 6 pm Thursday at the Embassy Suites in the Old Market.