Oct. 14, 2020

CommonSpirit to Leave Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) Networks

On June 19, we received a termination notice from CommonSpirit Health, notifying us of its intent to leave our networks on Dec. 16, 2020. CommonSpirit owns 15 hospitals throughout Houston and East Texas, including the CHI St. Luke’s and CHI St. Joseph hospitals. A complete list of hospitals is below.

Why it matters: If we don’t sign new contracts, CommonSpirit hospitals will no longer be in these provider networks after Dec. 16, 2020:

CommonSpirit will stay in our MyBlue HealthSM network, but if new contracts are not signed, they will leave MyBlue Health after Dec. 31, 2021.

We have an obligation to do what is best for our members and customers and we hope we can reach a mutually beneficial agreement.

The issue: Our contracts with CommonSpirit have been in place for several years. In terminating the contracts, CommonSpirit is not honoring agreements that kept its hospitals in our networks through 2021. Instead, we are forced to renegotiate and divert our attention from the global pandemic at hand.

The demands: CommonSpirit is demanding unreasonable rate increases and a large cash payment along with our financial support for a new bone marrow transplant unit that would compete with the other, world-class hospitals in Houston.

The impact: These demands would drive up the cost of health care in Houston, Bryan-College Station, Lufkin and the rest of the southeast Texas communities we serve. This comes during a public health emergency when businesses have suffered financial loses and many of our customers around the state have been forced to lay off thousands of employees.

We think the demands are unreasonable and will do all we can to represent our members and customers in this negotiation.

Impacted hospitals: The following facilities are part of this negotiation:

Hospital or Surgery Center

St Joseph Regional Health Center
2801 Franciscan Dr
Burleson St. Joseph Health Center
1101 Woodson Drive
CHI St. Joseph Health College Station Hospital
1604 Rock Prairie Rd
College Station
CHI St. Luke’s Health Baylor College Medicine Medical Center
6720 Bertner Avenue
St. Luke’s Hospital at The Vintage
20171 Chasewood Park Dr
Brazosport Regional Health System
100 Medical Drive
Lake Jackson
Memorial Medical Center Livingston
1717 Hwy 59 Bypass
Memorial Medical Center of East Texas
1201 West Frank Avenue
Madison St. Joseph Health Center
100 W Cross Street
Grimes St. Joseph Health Center
210 South Judson Street
St. Luke’s Patients Medical Center
4600 E Sam Houston Pkwy S
Memorial Medical Center San Augustine
511 Hospital Street
San Augustine
San Augustine
St. Luke’s Sugar Land Hospital
1317 Lake Pointe Pkwy
Sugar Land
Fort Bend
St. Luke’s Lakeside Hospital LLC
17400 St Lukes Way
The Woodlands
St. Luke’s The Woodlands Hospital
17200 St Lukes Way
The Woodlands

Why negotiate: As a customer-owned health insurance industry leader in Texas for 90 years, we work with doctors and hospitals to find solutions that are in the best interest of our members. We advocate on our members’ behalf for high-quality, cost-effective health care. It is a responsibility we take very seriously.

Finding in-network care: If CommonSpirit chooses to leave our networks, we will do everything we can to help members move their care to quality, cost effective, convenient in-network hospitals and doctors.

Members have several ways to find in-network care:

Care for ongoing conditions: Members being treated for a pregnancy, disability, acute condition or life-threatening illness may have continuity of care benefits. This means they may still be able to see their current doctor at CommonSpirit even after they leave our networks.

Benefits for continuity of care are based on benefit plans. To find out if they are eligible, members can call the number on their ID card for more information.

More Information: For the latest information, visit bcbstx.com/CHI later this week. Please contact your BCBSTX representative with any questions or concerns.