Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota statement on critical access hospital payments

May 01, 2013, 13:25 ET from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota

EAGAN, Minn., May 1, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the only truly state-wide health plan, Blue Cross understands the importance of maintaining a viable network of critical access hospitals throughout Minnesota. We recently proposed a change in payment methods for these hospitals that moves away from an outdated, transactional, fee-for-service system to a new system that is proven to be a more transparent, predictable and fairer way to pay for care. Blue Cross is striving to be thoughtful and responsive to the operational and financial planning challenges of these hospitals. As a result, we have adjusted the implementation date of this new payment system to January 1, 2014 in an effort to ease the transition.

In addition to the extension, Blue Cross will:

  • Extend our ability to meet with individual critical access hospitals and offer additional multi-hospital education sessions
  • Share in the cost of software licensing fees and work directly with the manufacturer to ensure these hospitals receive the product as soon as possible
  • Create a "safety net" on our commercial payments for those hospitals with insufficient operating margins, ensuring that payments will cover the cost of care provided to Blue Cross commercial members

Critical access hospitals play a vital role in Minnesota's health care delivery system, providing important services to the communities they serve every day. Blue Cross remains committed to continuing the challenging, but necessary conversation about the connection between escalating health care prices and the affordability of insurance coverage. On behalf of our more than two million Blue Cross members, we are committed to new and innovative ways to address the issue of higher health care costs and the pricing inconsistencies that exist across the state. 

SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota