BCBS of North Carolina CEO: Mission Health has '100% control over what happens next' in contract dispute

Brad Wilson, president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, wrote in a Citizen-Times column Asheville, N.C.-based Mission Health System has "100 percent control over what happens next" in an ongoing reimbursement rate clash.

Last month, Mission Health said it plans to depart BCBSNC's network by Oct. 5. In a July 24 op-ed, Mission Health board members wrote the system asked for a "modest, mid-single digit reimbursement increase," but BCBSNC denied the request, "forcing a 'forever zero' contract."

In his Aug. 14 column, Mr. Wilson wrote, "Before Mission Health walked away, we offered a fair contract with increases tied to quality and patient outcomes. More than 40 other hospitals in the state have committed to holding the line on costs and agreed to similar terms. Mission Health stands alone as the only health system leaving our network."

Mr. Wilson added BCBSNC provided Mission Health increased reimbursement rates during the past 10 years. He also pointed to the health system's own health plan, Healthy State, as reason "Mission Health, above all other hospitals, fully understands the need to combat healthcare costs for employers."

Last week, Mission Health offered to continue in-network recognition of BCBSNC's ACA exchange policyholders; however, BCBSNC rejected the proposal.

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