Massachusetts hospital president: BCBS putting profits over patients

The president of a Massachusetts health system and hospital group accused Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts of caring about revenues more than patients, according to an op-ed published by the Sippican Week.

Keith Hovan, president of New Bedford, Mass.-based Southcoast Health System and Fall River, Mass.-based Southcoast Hospitals Group, wrote in the op-ed that the health system is in the process of renegotiating its reimbursement rates with BCBSMA. Mr. Hovan said while Southcoast is committed to good faith conversations with BCBSMA and hopes to sign a new contract later this year, the health system "need[s] BCBSMA to engage in meaningful negotiations that result in a timely, fair and equitable solution."

Should an agreement not be reached, Southcoast's physician offices, hospitals and providers will no longer be considered in network for BCBSMA members beginning Jan. 1.

In a Sept. 16 press release, BCBSMA addressed the negotiations: "Unfortunately, the Southcoast Health system has decided to terminate its contract with us unless we agree to rate increases of nearly 30 percent over four years. We value the care that Southcoast physicians and hospitals provide to our members. But on behalf of our customers, we cannot agree to rate increases that will make quality healthcare less affordable."

Read the full op-ed here.

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