Blue Cross Blue Shield dispute with Texas Health Resources could bring healthcare headaches for thousands

NORTH TEXAS — It’s something you’re probably unaware of, but it can have a huge ramification in your life.

You see, Texas Health Resources, the company that owns the likes of Presbyterian, Arlington Memorial, and a bevy of other properties throughout North Texas is in a contract dispute with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, which insures roughly 150,000 people in the area.

The dispute reportedly hinges on THR asking for $1 billion more from Blue Cross over the span of a four year contract, and – according to D Magazine – the ability for Texas Health to dictate to local businesses how they should design their benefit plans.

Both Blue cross and Texas Health gave NewsFix a statement.

Blue Cross says:

“We remain committed to trying to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement that keeps Texas Health Resources (THR) in our networks.

However, if we are unable to reach an agreement, the contracts between Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) and THR are set to expire on March 31, 2018.

Here’s a website with more information.”

Texas Health says:

“We are disappointed in how Blue Cross is representing our ongoing discussions to date.  How they have chosen to position their public comments is unfortunate, but not surprising.  Their inaccurate and misleading claims are polarizing and distracting everyone from the mission at hand, which is about our organizations coming together to ensure uninterrupted care for thousands of North Texans. We remain optimistic and focused on reaching a fair agreement that is in the best interest of our patients, providers and employers.”

The two companies have until March 31st – that’s this Saturday – to come up with a deal.

So, if a deal doesn’t happen, the question then becomes: will you get kicked out of the ER if you are taken to a Texas Health facility and you have Blue Cross as your insurer?

Simply put, no.

Federal law requires a hospital to treat anyone coming into an ER regardless of insurance.

On the other hand, if history is any indication, all this worry will be for naught. Something similar happened in 2016, but the two companies were able to come to an agreement at the last minute. So there’s still hope!

Having said that, if no deal is made… it would be quite the April Fool’s prank on all of us.