East Texas Medical Center - Tyler and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas reached a preliminary agreement to ensure the hospital will be a full in-network provider in the company’s preferred provider plans.

The parties are in the process of finalizing an agreement, which they expect will take 45 days, officials announced in a press release Thursday. Meanwhile, ETMC remains in network for the full-range of BCBSTX products.

“We are very pleased that our patients can choose ETMC Tyler and be assured of receiving all the benefits offered by their BCBSTX PPO insurance plans,” Elmer Ellis, president/chief executive officer of the ETMC Regional Healthcare System, said in a statement.

“This ensures that our patients from across the region can choose our services and receive the maximum benefits offered by their policies.”

Regional ETMC hospitals and ETMC First Physicians have been in-network providers with BCBSTX for many years. Ellis said the preliminary agreement provides better continuity of care for the many East Texans who are admitted through ETMC regional hospitals and then require more advanced care.

ETMC physicians and hospitals are also providers in the healthcare marketplace, healthcare.gov, offering Blue Cross Blue Shield and United Healthcare HMO plans. These exchange plans, created by the Affordable Healthcare Act, are the only way many East Texans can access care.

“While some hospitals do not participate in these plans, we at ETMC feel a responsibility to be a part of these efforts,” Ellis said. “We also salute the many physicians and other area hospitals that join with ETMC and Blue Cross and Blue Shield in providing services to those contracting for care through the healthcare.gov marketplace."

- Coshandra Dillard


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