Blue Cross downgrades UAB Hospital to tier 2

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama has downgraded UAB Hospital in Birmingham, Ala., from Tier 1 to Tier 2 status, citing new tier criteria focused on healthcare spending, reports Birmingham Business Journal.

UAB affiliate hospital UAB Medical West was similarly downgraded to Tier 2 status. The status change may result in higher out-of-pocket costs for 450,000 Blue Cross members who received medical services at UAB hospitals.

In an official statement, Blue Cross said new tier criteria places more emphasis on healthcare costs, which resulted in 17 Alabama hospitals moving from Tier 1 to Tier 2 status.

Blue Cross will update its rankings quarterly throughout the year, allowing providers the opportunity to improve their status.

More articles on payer issues:

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Missouri bars Aetna-Humana merger for certain insurance products
Anthem CEO: Insurer 'working extremely well' with Cigna; merger decision expected in July

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