Empire, BCBS to split after unsuccessful negotiations

New York health insurer Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield and HealthAlliance of the HudsonValley based in Kingston, N.Y., failed to reach an agreement before their existing contract expired Tuesday, reports Daily Freeman.
HealthAlliance hospitals will continue to provide emergency services to Empire BCBS members at in-network rates. HealthAlliance hospitals will henceforth charge out-of-network rates for inpatient and outpatient services to BCBS members .

HealthAlliance merged with Valhalla, N.Y.-based Westchester Medical Center Health Network in March. Following the partnership, Empire notified WMCHealth it would not honor contractual reimbursement terms the insurer had with HealthAlliance hospitals prior to the affiliation.

Empire spokesperson Sally Kweskin told Daily Freeman the insurer remains committed to continued negotiations with the health networks and is hopeful of arriving at an agreement. HealthAlliance President and CEO Dave Scarpino said HealthAlliance will join the BCBS network when the insurer agrees to its previous reimbursement terms, according to the article.

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