The battle between Covenant Medical Group doctors and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas is over. Late Monday afternoon, the insurance company announced that the dispute over doctor reimbursement rates ended without an agreement. They sent NewsChannel 11 this statement:
"We regret that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) members were put in the middle of issues which needed to be resolved between BCBSTX and Covenant Medical Group (CMG). Unfortunately, we could not meet CMG's demands for a double-digit rate increase and CMG was unwilling to consider alternatives.
Though you've been led to believe we would not come to the table for discussion of any contract changes, the truth is we tried regularly to discuss various contract issues because we recognize the importance of providing our members with a large network of doctors. Despite the fact that we did not achieve the win-win solution we sought, Blue Cross is still hoping to work with CMG in the future."
- Darren Rodgers, Senior Vice President, Health Care Management BCBSTX
NewsChannel 11 spoke with Dr. Scott Robins, the spokesperson for Covenant Medical Group. He says Blue Cross has not contacted him with any new proposals.
With no agreement reached, folks need to prepare for some changes. First, check who your provider is, because if it's not BCBS, your coverage is not affected.
Second, call you doctor to see if they're part of the medical group because some group doctors are not.
There are about 200 doctors in the group. We've learned some members in our surrounding communities are contracted to those facilities and will still be covered.
Most group doctors in Brownfield, Crosbyton, Denver City, Lamesa, and Littlefield will still be covered, but we did some checking and found out several in Snyder will be affected by these changes.
Covenant has set up a hotline to take your questions, so you can give them a call at (806)725-6543.
Starting Friday, BCBS members will also lose benefits at Covenant's Rural Health Clinics in Levelland and Plainview.
It's important to note that these changes will not affect Covenant Hospital, so emergency room visits, lab tests, and x-rays will still be covered.
Folks can also call Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas with questions. The number you need to call is on the back of your Blue Cross I.D. card. That will connect you to the center assigned to your plan.