BCBS of Oklahoma dismissed from hospital's lawsuit

U.S. District Judge Claire Eagan ruled that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma be dismissed from a lawsuit involving Bristow (Okla.) Endeavor Healthcare and network coverage, according to Tulsa World.

In February, Bristow Endeavor filed a suit claiming BCBS of Oklahoma refused to contract with its Jenks, Okla.-based Center for Orthopaedic Reconstruction and Excellence. Bristow claimed in the lawsuit that the insurer "plotted to exclude CORE from the northeast Oklahoma/Tulsa-area healthcare marketplace" and did not let CORE become an in-network provider with BCBS of Oklahoma, according to the report.

But BCBS of Oklahoma and its operator, Health Care Service Corp., requested to be dismissed from the case.

Judge Eagan has ruled in favor of the request, claiming the "[p]laintiff may disagree with HCSC's decision not to add CORE to Bristow Healthcare's existing provider agreement, but plaintiff has not cited any authority that, as a matter of Oklahoma law, HCSC was required to contract with CORE or that an insurer's decision not to contract with a provider is inherently improper or unjustified," according to the report.

Not only did Judge Eagan dismiss BCBS of Oklahoma and HCSC from the lawsuit, but she also dismissed the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

In a statement, BCBS of Oklahoma said, "This ruling does not change anything for our members; as always, we remain focused on our mission to provide access to quality, affordable healthcare to as many Oklahomans as possible," according to the report.

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