AUSTIN, Texas — Ascension Texas hospitals and Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) have reached a contract agreement that will keep Ascension within the insurance company's in-network coverage.
Earlier this month, KVUE reported that if the negotiations were left unresolved, BCBS could remove Ascension Texas hospitals from its network. The two groups had until Jan. 31 to come to terms, but Ascension Texas said on Jan. 26 that they reached an agreement ahead of the deadline.
A spokesperson for Ascension confirmed the news with KVUE, providing the following statement:
"Ascension Texas and BCBSTX have reached a new agreement for hospital, hospital-based clinic services and ambulatory surgery centers. This means that the contract for these services will not end on January 31, 2023, and there will be no interruption in access for BCBSTX members who seek care at Ascension facilities.
Blue Cross Blue Shield Texas (BCBSTX) members will continue to have in-network access to all Ascension providers, including Ascension Seton, Ascension Providence, hospital-based clinic services, Dell Children’s Medical Center, Ascension Medical Group practices and select joint-venture facilities.
We are pleased that BCBSTX members – our patients – will have continued access to the world-class care and high-quality, advanced services only available through Ascension Texas.
The population of Central Texas is growing and so are its healthcare needs. The new agreement with BCBSTX ensures that the community can continue to access quality care with Ascension’s well-known and trusted providers. Patients can continue scheduling appointments with their providers as normal.
We want to thank our patients, providers, caregivers, employers and other leaders for their continued support and trust as we deliver personalized and compassionate care to Central Texas."
Later that same afternoon, BCBS said that the deal hadn't been signed yet. But on Monday, Jan. 30, BCBS confirmed that the two groups have reached an agreement.
"Ascension Seton hospitals, surgery centers, doctors and professionals in the Hill Country and Central Texas areas will stay in the Blue Choice PPOSM, Blue EssentialsSM, Blue Advantage HMOSM and Medicare Advantage (PPO)SM networks," BCBS said. "They also remain in the Medicare Advantage (HMO)SM and Medicaid networks, which weren’t part of this negotiation."