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Blue Cross, Goldsboro hospital agree to new contract

Posted February 4

— Wayne Memorial Hospital is back in Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina's provider network after the two sides reached a new three-year agreement Tuesday. 

The new contract means Blue Cross customers can resume receiving care immediately at the hospital and with their in-network physicians.

The two sides were at odds for months prior to reaching a deal, and the hospital was booted from the network on Dec. 5, 2013. 

"As with any extended negotiation, neither side is totally satisfied, but you can be sure that Wayne Memorial Hospital's commitment to serving our patients is as strong as ever," William Paugh, president and CEO of the hospital, said in a statement. "These negotiations were frustrating for the hospital and for our community, yet they were important in our ability to provide Wayne County residents access to clinical excellence and patient-centered care well into the future."

The hospital and insurer negotiated for 18 months to try to rein in costs, which had trended higher at Wayne Memorial than comparable hospitals, BCBSNC said. Citing cost information from the North Carolina Hospital Association, hospital officials said Tuesday that prices for medical procedures at Wayne Memorial were comparable or even lower than many other local facilities.

BCBSNC President and CEO Brad Wilson said in a statement that the company appreciated the community's patience during the stalemate. 

"These efforts reflect BCBSNC's commitment to keep healthcare as affordable as it can be for our customers while working to support independent community hospitals," he said.

6 Comments

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  • taramclamb2 Feb 4, 3:24 p.m.

    WMH has been instrumental in providing EXCELLENT, top-notch care to the community for many many years. It is very very sad that BCBSNC would try to strongarm a smaller community hospital into paying a 10 million dollar contract over 3 years, when the non-profit hospital does not even make that much in 3 years!! Agreeing to those ridiculous demands would have shut WMH's doors and NO ONE would have been able to access care and everyone's safety would have been endangered. Prices would have to skyrocket there in order to meet the unrealistic demands of BCBSNC. Please don't let this bully of a company mislead you into thinking that THEY are for the patient - please! Their CEO got a multi-million dollar raise! They are all about the dollar, and WMH is all about its patients. They are a NON-PROFIT entity - they are not about the money, but are about providing us with excellent, patient-centered care, and I am proud to say I am a part of WMH!

  • dae66 Feb 4, 1:38 p.m.

    Please do not blame WMH. It's been more about BCBS wanting to exercise control and strong arm community hospitals. WMH is not the first, but stood their ground for their patients! I am very thankful that my company changed from BCBS recently.

  • shelbylynn72 Feb 4, 1:15 p.m.

    I am very happy with this outcome. My family and I have received nothing but excellent care at Wayne Memorial Hospital. We were even considering changing health plans so we could stay with Wayne. You might say you have no problem driving an hour both ways for care, but try doing that if you work or have kids...or more importantly a family member who has chronic health care needs that require weekly visits. You would quickly realize how unrealistic (and expensive) traveling to another hospital in another town really is. I'm glad BCBS finally realized how important hospital Wayne Memorial Hospital is to their customers.

  • mochabrown Feb 4, 1:04 p.m.

    BCBS was WMH's cash cow. It became obvious that patient care was not WMH concern.

  • livinggood2 Feb 4, 9:55 a.m.

    I agree Closetrebel....its all about the money and how many bodies they can bring in...The People have been forgotten.

  • closetrebel Feb 4, 9:11 a.m.

    That's OK...I'm still going out of town when I have to get care....WMH has shown us what's really important, to them and it's not patient care.