BCBS of Tennessee severs ties with Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Due to a contract dispute, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee may separate from Nashville, Tenn.-based Vanderbilt University Medical Center, which would leave many Medicare Advantage enrollees without coverage after this year, according to Nashville Public Radio.

If the organizations do not reach a deal by the end of the year, Vanderbilt won't be in-network for BCBS' Medicare Advantage members. For now, BCBS sent letters to members of its Medicare Advantage program explaining the changes to the network. Customers have until Dec. 7 to switch plans if they want to remain in-network with Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt spokesman John Howser said the medical center and the insurer couldn't reach an agreement, according to the Associated Press.

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee spokeswoman Mary Danielson said the companies were unable to successfully negotiate reimbursement rates thus far, according to WRCBTV.com.

"Our first obligation is to our members and to do everything we can to keep the cost of their care as affordable as possible," Ms. Danielson said. "And Vanderbilt, quite frankly, is simply too expensive. In fact, we offered to pay them the same rate that they accept from the federal government, and they were not in agreement with that."

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