Polk and Blue Cross/Blue Shield closer to agreement

Many of those who have used the services of Polk Medical Center in the past couple of years may have had a huge shock on their medical bills.

Since the hospital changed hands from HCA to Floyd Healthcare Management, people with Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Georgia have been out of network for their local hospital, except for emergency care.

According to officials with Polk Medical Center, when the transition in management was made, all other insurance providers transferred their coverage plans, with the exception of Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

Polk Medical Center Administrator Matt Gormon says after months of unresponsiveness from Blue Cross/Blue Shield, the insurer has presented a base proposal to hospital officials.

“The negotiations with Blue Cross/Blue Shield, I would say that we are cautiously optimistic,” said Gorman.

“After a number of months of unresponsiveness, Blue Cross has finally submitted a base proposal for Polk Medical Center, and while our preferred approach was to extend Floyd’s existing contract to Polk, which every other insurer did over two years ago, we’re encouraged that Blue Cross has finally come to the table.”

A large chunk of the workforce in Polk County would be greatly impacted by the negotiations, as all employees of Polk School District, government employees, and several other industries in the county use Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

“It’s a top priority for us,” said Gormon.

“They need to contact their employers and their employers contact Blue Cross/Blue Shield and let them know that it is very important for their local hospital to be in-network.”

“That’s our goal.”

Gormon says that negotiations for a base contract can take months and there is still a long road ahead but feels that they have taken a step in the right direction.