Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois members will no longer be able to receive in-network rates at Springfield Clinic locations as of Nov. 17 after the parties' contract negotiations fell through.
The parties went public about a possible contract termination during negotiations in October, with the Springfield-based clinic calling the thought of its contract termination "unimaginable."
The termination affects nearly 100,000 members in the payer's PPO and Blue Choice networks, according to the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois website. The insurer and clinic had a 30-year relationship, and members had access to more than 600 clinics in the state.
"We share in our patients' frustration that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois removed Springfield Clinic as an in-network provider," the clinic told local ABC affiliate WCIS. "Springfield Clinic is a significant driver of affordable healthcare in Central Illinois. Our outpatient procedures and infusions cost a fraction of the price patients would pay in a hospital setting. That's exactly why we are seeing scores of employers and thousands of patients make accommodations or switch insurance carriers to stay in-network with our providers."
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois stated that high medical costs drove tense negotiations. A spokesperson told Becker's that the payer hoped to reach an agreement with Springfield Clinic.
"We've been attempting to build a new arrangement with Springfield Clinic that would protect our member’s health care dollars while giving them access to quality providers at competitive prices," the spokesperson told Becker's. "We hoped the Clinic would stay in our networks. Unfortunately, Springfield Clinic chose to go out-of-network effective November 17, 2021. Our members are our top priority. We offer a network of more than 3,000 in-network doctors and health care professionals in the Central Illinois region and we are here to help transition our members to in-network providers as seamlessly as possible."