Blue Cross patients get temporary reprieve

Stanford Hospitals to honor in-network rates during insurance negotiations

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California patients will not have to pay more for their care while Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital negotiate a new contract with the insurance companies, the hospitals announced Thursday (Sept. 15).

Stanford Hospital continues to negotiate with Anthem Blue Cross, and Packard Hospital is negotiating with Anthem Blue Cross and with Blue Shield of California.

Anthem sent a letter to its insured patients notifying them that its contract with the hospitals had expired and patients could face higher out-of-pocket costs as of Sept. 1.

The hospitals "are continuing negotiations with health insurance providers while continuing to serve patients covered by the companies' plans. During this period, the hospitals will honor patients' in-network rates, so that their out-of-pocket costs are no higher than they normally would be," the hospitals said in a joint statement.

"We regret any inconvenience or concern this may be causing patients at our hospitals and clinics," said Norm Rizk, M.D., senior associate dean of clinical affairs at Stanford.

"The hospitals want to reassure current and future patients that Packard and Stanford Hospital and Clinics "are committed to providing them with the care and access they expect," he said.

Kenneth Cox, M.D., Packard Hospital's chief medical officer, said that patients can continue to be treated at the hospitals regardless of their insurance benefit, procedure or authorization status.

Hospital officials said they are working toward reaching new agreements as quickly as possible. Patients can call the 24/7 hotline at 877-519-6099 or 650-736-5998 with any questions.

Related stories:

Stanford Hospitals terminate Blue Cross coverage

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Like this comment
Posted by don't play games with healthcare
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 15, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Shame on Stanford and the insurance companies for playing games with their patients' health care. Health should be sacred, not a corporate pawn. Our national health care system is severely broken and needs to be taken out of the hands of greedy corporations.

Like this comment
Posted by Love the competition
a resident of Meadow Park
on Sep 16, 2011 at 6:41 am

Shame on anyone who interprets their health as "sacred", to be worshipped by someone else at all costs.

Your health is yours to care for. You choose your eating, exercise, activities, smoking, drinking, drugs. The rest is genetics and luck, and there is nothing "sacred" about someone else paying or caring for it.

Competitive "greedy corporations" are what propelled us into the envy of the world in pharmacology and medical care advances. Take such competition for "greed" out of the equation, all that is left is "greedy government", against which there is no recourse, no choice, and little to no innovation advancement.

No, thanks. I prefer "greedy corporations" fighting it out to DC choosing for me. Solyndra is a great example of politics mixing with choices, I prefer to choose, or not, Anthem, based on my own decision making, vs having only Anthem ( called "Universal Health Care") to ta

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