Mission Health to terminate BCBS of North Carolina contract

Asheville, N.C.-based Mission Health System plans to leave Durham-based Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina's network by Oct. 5.

The contract termination makes Mission Health the only system in North Carolina outside of the payer's network, BCBSNC said. As a result, BCBSNC policyholders would likely pay more to access Mission Health's hospitals, outpatient facilities and most physicians. Some Mission Health physicians would remain in-network with the payer until March 2, 2018.

Mark Werner, vice president of provider network at BCBSNC, said, "We are disappointed that Mission Health chose to cancel its contract with us rather than work toward a solution to keep healthcare and health insurance as affordable as possible for our customers in western North Carolina."

Mission Health cited six months of unresolved rate negotiations as a reason for leaving the payer's network.

"BCBSNC's latest proposal imposes effective payment rate reductions to our health system at a time when modest annual increases are more important than they have ever been," Charles Ayscue, senior vice president of finance and CFO at Mission Health, said in a release obtained by WLOS. "Even if we earn every dollar of pay for performance incentives offered by BCBSNC, we could at best get back to zero for three straight years."

BCBSNC is the state's largest insurer with 72 percent market share, WLOS reports. 

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