CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and Johns Hopkins Medicine have signed a multiyear contract following a dispute over reimbursement rates that would have left hundreds of thousands of people out of network.
Nearly 40,000 providers and 300,000 patients would have been affected if an agreement had not been reached by Dec. 5. CareFirst also administers health coverage for around 97,000 Maryland state employees.
Johns Hopkins Health System President Kevin Sowers had told the Baltimore Sun that the cost of providing care rose 21 percent over the past decade, but CareFirst's rate increase was only 10 percent. He said CareFirst was paying less than other insurers.
Members of Maryland's congressional delegation and Gov. Larry Hogan were outspoken about the need for the two organizations to resolve the dispute.
"The impact of our partnership remains tied to advancing health outcomes in the community, and this new agreement provides the structure necessary to organize our efforts and deliver on that shared goal," CareFirst President and CEO Brian Pieninck said.