Friday, December 30, 2005

Blue Cross & Blue Shield strikes deal with emergency room doctors


Dozens of emergency room doctors reached an agreement with Blue Cross & Blue Shield to remain in the insurance company's network.

Fifty doctors at Miriam Hospital, Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children's Hospital planned to leave Blue Cross' network on Jan. 1 because they were unhappy with the payment rates the company offered

But the two sides announced an agreement Thursday that will allow Blue Cross to cover doctors' services and emergency-room care at those hospitals. Had the doctors left the network, patients would have still been able to receive emergency treatment at the hospitals but would have faced more paperwork and higher costs.

A two-paragraph statement announcing the agreement did not say what led to the deal, but says Blue Cross and the doctors had "agreed to work cooperatively to address issues of mutual interest such as appropriate use of emergency department services."


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