Florida Blue, BayCare resolve contract dispute days before deadline

BayCare will stay in-network with Florida Blue, reaching an agreement days before the organizations in-network contracts were set to expire, BayCare said Sept. 28. 

"We are very pleased to have this agreement behind us so that we can focus on what matters most, our patients," BayCare CEO and President Tommy Inzina said in a news release. 

Some members had received letters from Florida Blue, matching them with new in-network primary care physicians ahead of the contract expiration date. 

Members who received these letters will not need to switch doctors, the insurer said on its website. 

As of Sept. 23, BayCare had paused scheduling elective surgeries and procedures for Florida Blue members as the contract deadline loomed. 

BayCare operates 15 hospitals in the Tampa Bay and Central Florida region. Around 85,000 Florida Blue members regularly use BayCare services, the Tampa Bay Times reported. 

The newspaper reported that negotiation talks continued while most businesses in the area closed as Hurricane Ian approached. 

"With Hurricane Ian threatening our communities, we are thankful our members no longer need to be concerned about their ability to access their BayCare healthcare providers and can focus on what's most important," David Pizzo, Florida Blue market president, told the Tampa Bay Times.

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