Welcoming Parkridge as our Network S partner: What this means for members and customers

BlueCross BlueShieldLatest Updates

Updated May 16, 2024

You may recall we committed to handle CHI Memorial Medical Group and Chattanooga Heart Institute provider claims as in-network, indefinitely. However, since our announcement, CHI Memorial has directed its doctors to stop taking appointments from our members, and they intend to balance bill our members. So, despite our commitment to go above and beyond for those we serve, Memorial intends to impose greater out-of-pocket costs or even disrupt care. This is yet another disappointing move by CHI Memorial and supports our decision to move on with Parkridge Health System as our Network S hospital alongside Erlanger.

In the meantime, we are confident in our decision to select Parkridge for Network S and moving forward to make the transition as smooth as possible for our members.

After careful consideration, BlueCross has selected Parkridge Health System as the provider partner alongside Erlanger for Blue Network S in Chattanooga. 

We’re excited about bringing Parkridge facilities into Network S and are confident they’ll deliver the high-quality care our members deserve at prices they can afford.​

How Parkridge earned a spot in Network S

Our provider network team spent weeks analyzing bids from CHI Memorial and Parkridge, considering quality, patient experience and affordability, among other key metrics. 

After our first review of the Network S proposals, we provided feedback to both health systems and asked them to submit a “best and final” offer for our consideration. While CHI Memorial did submit another proposal, it wasn’t substantially better than their original bid.

Additionally, CHI Memorial told us that, if we didn’t pick them for Network S, they would leave all our networks. This is an unacceptable response to our competitive bid process.

Neither offer would allow us to lower premiums for our Network S plans, but CHI Memorial’s proposal would’ve cost our members $40 million more than Parkridge’s offer over three years.

Parkridge Health System provides almost every service CHI Memorial offers – including cardiology and oncology – along with some that Memorial doesn’t offer, such as adult and pediatric psychiatric care, obstetrics, and freestanding emergency care. Parkridge facilities also cover more of the Greater Chattanooga area, providing more convenient options for in-network care.​

You may be able to see your CHI Memorial doctor in-network

CommonSpirit did not deliver an affordable bid on the hospital side. But that doesn’t mean they should break up doctor-patient relationships and disrupt our members’ regular care. Especially when we’ve made a good-faith contract offer for their provider practices that includes a rate increase. CommonSpirit hasn’t accepted that proposal, but we are doing everything in our power to make sure our members can keep seeing their Memorial doctor.

CHI Memorial’s facilities can still remain in our other networks

They may no longer be part of Network S after June 30; but CHI Memorial still has an opportunity to be in Network P, as well as our Medicare Advantage and BlueCare networks, if they meet our members’ and customers’ needs for fair rates and contract conditions that support quality care. ​

While we’re excited to welcome Parkridge into Network S, we understand that this news may be disappointing for some people. We didn’t make this decision lightly, and we are certain we can support all our members through this transition. 

It’s important to remember that this situation all started because of CommonSpirit’s actions:

  • They insisted on putting an expiration date on our contract, and even tried to end it earlier.
  • They started our discussions with a nearly $70 million rate increase.
  • They wanted to leave our value-based care programs that support delivery of high-quality health services.

We’re here to help you get the care you need

If you have ongoing services scheduled at a CHI Memorial facility, the care team from BlueCross will work with you to help make sure you continue to receive appropriate care from an in-network health care provider. And members in specific circumstances, like those getting cancer treatment or in the second trimester of pregnancy, can be granted in-network status to keep that care at a CHI Memorial facility for a period of time.

Our customer service and care teams are here to help make sure members don’t experience disruptions in care. Members with questions can reach out at the telephone number on their Member ID for support.

We owe it to everyone we serve to do what we can to slow the rising costs of care and coverage – and we are excited to move forward with a provider who is actively engaged in supporting that goal.