A contract between Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas and Austin-based Ascension Texas is set to expire Jan. 31, forcing 10 Texas hospitals, 10 ASCs, two medical centers and 32 hospital-based clinics out of network, according to a Jan. 4 report from MySanAntonio.
Most of the potentially affected centers are located in the Central Texas and Hill Country regions.
Negotiations between Blue Cross and Ascension have been going on for months, but neither have managed to reach an agreement, according to the report.
Blue Cross of Texas serves six million residents in the state and is the primary healthcare option for roughly 328,000 state employees.
If an agreement is not reached, starting Feb. 1 Ascension hospitals will no longer be covered by Blue Choice PPO, Blue Essentials, Blue Advantage HMO and Medicare Advantage PPO. Ascension hospitals would remain in the Medicare Advantage HMO and Medicaid networks.
Currently covered patients receiving treatment for pregnancy, disability, acute conditions or life-threatening illnesses can qualify for in-network rates as continuity-of-care patients.
"We are negotiating in good faith and committed to reaching an agreement that will continue to give BCBSTX members access to Ascension facilities at a fair price," BCBSTX told MySanAntonio. "We value the care Ascension provides our members, but it is already one of the most expensive health systems in the Austin and Central Texas area."