MINNEAPOLIS - With no agreement reached in a dispute over reimbursements, Children's Minnesota will become out-of-network for all Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota health plans on July 5, 2017.
Children's announced back in March that it would terminate its contract with Blue Cross, saying that Blue Cross was demanding a large double-digit reduction in the payments it makes to Children's for patients insured through their Medicaid and commercial plans.
Blue Cross announced Monday they still have not reached an agreement with Children's, meaning that the hospital will leave the Blue Cross network starting July 5.
According to Children's, 66,000 patients are caught in the middle of this dispute.
Children's claims that Blue Cross is demanding a 31 percent cut to the rates they pay for children on Medicaid. Blue Cross said Monday that the number is "inaccurate" and that the current offer on the table is less than half of that. They say they have "come to the table with alternative offers and continue to be rebuffed by Children's."
Children's, though, says that Blue Cross' terms would "threaten (their) future" and force them to eliminate necessary services and programs.
Blue Cross says it has other providers standing by to provide services to current Children's patients if the contract is terminated on July 5. Those are the U of M Children's Masonic Hospital, Mayo Clinic Children's Center, Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare, Sanford Children's Hospitals and Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Blue Cross also tells KARE 11 that Children's has provided them with a list of 3,700 current patients with complex medical cases for continued in-network care. Blue Cross says it has approved every eligible member on that list for continued treatment.
"Patients would be transitioned to other pediatric hospitals only when it is medically safe and appropriate," says Jim McManus, director of public relations for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.