ST. PAUL - Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare have agreed to a three-year contract extension.

Both entities made the announcement Wednesday. The deal is through 2020 and includes all 20 Gillette locations – including the St. Paul hospital, six Twin Cities clinics and 13 Greater Minnesota clinics.

Garrett Black, senior vice president of health services for Blue Cross said in a news release, “We appreciate Gillette’s commitment and collaboration to address the cost pressures that the State of Minnesota is experiencing with the Medicaid program. Both Blue Cross and Gillette were in alignment that long-term stability required flexibility on both sides. In the end, we were aligned on what was best for our members and their patients.”

“We always strive to provide the best possible care for our patients and the community,” said James Haddican, vice president of finance for Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. “We’re pleased that we were able to come up with a multiple-year agreement with Blue Cross, so our patients can focus on their care and not have to worry about medical coverage.”

The announcement comes as negotiations continue with Children's Minnesota. If no deal over reimbursements can be made, Children's Minnesota will become out-of-network for all Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota health plans on July 5. According to Children's, 66,000 patients are caught in the middle of the dispute.