Last May, less than two years after we agreed to a significant rate increase, CHI Memorial came back demanding more – and even pushed for an early end to our contract. We declined, opting to keep our current contract expiration of June 30, 2024. That means our members can continue getting services through CHI Memorial with in-network benefits through the end of June, and it gives Memorial time to think of the community we all serve and agree to reasonable rates and contract terms.
We know network changes are difficult, so we make them only when necessary. However, we can’t agree to the unfair rates in their latest request. They asked for an increase of nearly $70 million over 3 years, a nearly 40% jump in rates, which would make CHI Memorial the most expensive hospital system in Tennessee.
CHI Memorial’s latest proposal would increase the cost of medical care, as well as the cost of coverage for those BlueCross serves, far beyond what’s reasonable. And it wouldn’t be fair to our other provider partners.
We’re evaluating our options for CHI Memorial’s spot in Blue Network SSM
CHI Memorial’s pattern of behavior and repeated, aggressive rate requests have led us to reevaluate our partnership. One way we’re responding to CHI Memorial’s demands is considering other partners that could join Blue Network S alongside Erlanger and maintain affordability for our members. We’ll do this by issuing a request for proposals from other area health systems to join this high-value network. This will help us keep coverage affordable in the Chattanooga market and better manage the cost of care for our Chattanooga-area members. You can read more here, and we’ll keep you posted as the process unfolds.
Despite our concerns, we recognize many of our Chattanooga members value CHI Memorial services and providers, so we’re giving CHI Memorial every opportunity to remain in our high-value commercial network. And you won’t see any change or impact until July 1, 2024. The only exception is CHI Memorial Health at Home, which will leave our networks effective until March 29, 2024. If CHI Memorial ultimately leaves any of our networks, we’ll work proactively with BlueCross members to make sure they get the care they need. We are sharing information about the negotiations now because we believe you deserve transparency.
Members can still get in-network care at CHI Memorial through June 30
If we can’t reach a fair agreement, CHI Memorial facilities and providers will be removed from several BlueCross networks, including Blue Network PSM, Network S, BlueAdvantage (PPO)SM, BlueCare Tennessee and BlueCare Plus (HOM SNP)SM, effective July 1, 2024. The only exception is CHI Memorial Health at Home, which has chosen to leave our networks even sooner, on March 29, 2024.
Please check back for additional updates.