Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas threatens to drop HCA facilities

A frustrated Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas said it will cut network ties with all medical facilities in Texas run by Nashville, Tenn.-based Hospital Corporation of America starting May 1, should the parties fail to successfully resolve contract negotiations, reports San Antonio Express-News.

Below are four things to know about the negotiations.

1. HCA's contract with BCBS of Texas expires April 30.

2. HCA owns 44 hospitals and 30 surgical or outpatient centers that are in-network for BCBS of Texas members.

3. BCBS has blamed HCA for proposing contract terms that would increase the amount Blue Cross customers pay for healthcare. On its website the insurer told its members, "We cannot in good conscience agree to terms that would increase the amounts our customers pay when they use HCA facilities. We are sensitive to rising healthcare costs and the burden it puts on our customers."

4. HCA spokesman Ed Fishbough declined to comment on the negotiations. Memphis, Tenn.-based Methodist Healthcare, of which HCA owns 50 percent, said it will continue to work toward a successful resolution with BCBS. Methodist owns eight inpatient hospitals and four ambulatory surgery centers in San Antonio, all part of the BCBS network.

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