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Hospitals, BCBS renegotiating Medicare Advantage plans

Unless a new agreement is signed, patients with Blue Cross, Blue Shield Medicare Advantage Plans will have to pay out-of-network prices for services at Duke LifePoint hospitals beginning Jan. 1, 2021.

In Western North Carolina, this would impact patients at Haywood Regional Medical Center, Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital. The hospitals contacted impacted patients a month ago about the announcement and to assist them if they wanted to find another in-network plan.

HRMC issued the following statement Thursday:

"Haywood Regional Medical Center deeply values the trust our patients have placed in our team of caregivers. We are working with BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina’s Medicare Advantage plans to ensure patients continue to have access to high-quality care for years to come. Our current agreement with BCBS Medicare Advantage plans runs through the end of 2020. We are working directly with BCBS Medicare Advantage patients to ensure they can continue to have in-network access to the doctors they know and trust in 2021. We encourage any BCBS Medicare Advantage patients who have questions about their health insurance options to call our free helpline at 855.582.5181. Representatives are available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST."

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