Minnesota Hospitals Denounce Blue Cross Payment Changes

The Minnesota Hospital Association has called out Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, saying the health insurer is slashing payments to rural hospitals that will "put them into deep, deep red ink."

The MHA said the new hospital-payor plan, which would go into effect May 1, would convert Blue Cross payments from a negotiated discount of a hospital's charges to a rate set unilaterally by Blue Cross.

Many Minnesota hospitals have said the new plan would cut their reimbursements by "hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars."

In an emailed statement to Minnesota Public Radio, Blue Cross officials "strongly" disagreed with the MHA's statements. The payor said, "Our new payment approach is a less arbitrary and more transparent way to pay hospitals based on the specific needs of the people they treat."

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