- Florida Blue and BayCare remain stuck in contractual limbo just two weeks ahead of the termination of the pair’s current contract
- Should the two sides fail to reach an agreement, BayCare healthcare services would be removed from Florida Blue’s network of coverage, potentially leaving thousands of Floridians without local in-network health facilities
- In an emailed statement to The Capitolist, BayCare representatives state that they hope to come to an agreement prior to Sept. 30, also claiming that rising labor costs have led to practitioners not receiving a proportionate share of revenue
Just two weeks remain ahead of the Oct. 1 contract negotiations deadline between Florida Blue and BayCare. If an agreement is not reached, BayCare health services will be removed from Florida Blue’s network, potentially leaving thousands without local coverage.
According to BayCare representatives, though negotiations are ongoing, little progress has been made. Despite this, the company hopes to reach an agreement before the current contract expires on Sept. 30.
“BayCare continues to negotiate with Florida Blue and we sincerely hope to reach an agreement on a fair contract prior to Sept. 30, the date the current contract sunsets, to protect patients’ ability to continue choosing the hospitals, laboratory services, and physicians they know and trust at BayCare,” BayCare said in an emailed statement to The Capitolist. “Our goal is to negotiate a responsible agreement with Florida Blue that offers fair reimbursement for the care our physicians and nurses provide and ensures BayCare can continue to attract and retain caregivers to deliver the high-quality care for our patients and communities in the future.”
According to a Florida Blue media alert, BayCare initiated discussions, demanding a double-digit percent increase for hospital services and a two-to-three-fold increase for its doctors, imaging, and accessory services.
This, according to the insurer, would result in increased service and premium expenses. More than 85,000 Florida Blue customers who have received care from the BayCare Health System in the previous six months will receive notes in the mail this week advising them that BayCare may opt-out of Florida Blue’s networks.
BayCare claims that due to inflation and the subsequent rising costs, labor and supply prices have increased without a commensurate share of revenue being passed on to providers and practitioners.
“As our doctors and nurses have worked hard to save lives throughout the pandemic, labor and supply costs have risen substantially. Last year, it cost us 20 percent more to care for each patient than before the pandemic. And costs have increased more in 2022. We are simply asking Florida Blue to agree to a fair contract that puts patients first,” the statement continues. “Every year, Florida Blue asks its members and employers to pay more for their health insurance coverage, but those increases are not proportionately shared with health care providers like BayCare.”
BayCare is a leading health provider across Tampa Bay and Southwest Florida, treating hundreds of thousands of patients in 2021 as well as performing close to 90,000 surgeries.
Should an agreement fail to be reached, Floridians that have only BayCare facilities nearby could be forced to pay out-of-pocket costs for basic health services.
That reinforces the case for Medicare for ALL and just because a contract is signed members and patients will still be in stressful and continuous worries in many areas.
Contracts between the various branches of medical care do not run in calendar year so many retirees on private insurance find ourselves in limbo at any time of the year. All Advantage plans run January through December. With this no contract in place situation I must change many of my doctors and facilities, that is insane, we have illnesses and this constant stress is just making our health worse.
The for profit health delivery system is just cruel and highly inefficient, Medicare is highly efficient and just the 300 plus millions of new members would give it an awesome negotiating position with ALL others such as pharmas, hospitals, nursing homes, doctors and the rest.
I will switch to government medicare coverage and purchase medigap, drug plan etc.
I have been retired for 12 years and never had this problem in New Jersey or Massachusetts. Are there other states where this problem is occuring for BC/BS patients? Also, is this problem in any way related to the pandemic?
I worked as an attorney representing hospitals in New Jersey and negotiated with Blue Cross various contracts. Both Blue Cross and the hospitals worked hard together to ensure that there would be no disruption in coverage for Blue Cross subscribers. What is wrong with Florida Blue Cross and Bay Care? Without subscribers and patients, they would both loose money going forward. Bay Care needs to assess its operations, especially since it was found to have improperly billed Medicaid for care as per a recent Tampa Bay Times news article. Blue Cross has, perhaps, become too much of a monopoly on insurance in Florida and maybe there should be an government investigation into its operations???
In living here, I have seen these Many many times with Baycare,Growing up in Belleair,Fla.They just bought Spectrem field,Opening up Another hospital in Manatee County,During this difficult times. I’ve only seen Morton Plant Grow immensely, With the area donors around here In the Pinellas county area. I feel to throw out all this anxiety, especially on the elderly, who already don’t like change ,
To be sending out these letters with the changes of doctors you don’t even know it’s so anxiety producing for them and many others, I’m shocked with Baycare,Yes I agree there are two sides to every story, they just went through this with United insurance and came to an agreement, however this time I’m not so sure which during these rough times makes things even worse.It is very hard these days to find a new doctor, much less, get in there, or if you have a specialist.I am praying
Baycare will act in good faith with Blue Cross Health Insurance,It is causing so much anxiety for so many and doesn’t have to.
Sincerely James and Kimberly Pidgeon