Northwest Medical Backs Away from Blue Cross Break

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While no agreement has been reached, the parent company of Northwest Medical System has decided to honor its existing contract with Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield beyond Sept. 1.

Franklin-Tenn.-based Community Health Systems had previously said it would quit doing business with ABCBS after the insurer would not agree to rate increases for services.

The hospital company owns several hospitals and clinics in Arkansas. Those in Northwest Arkansas are:
• Northwest Medical Center-Springdale
• Northwest Medical Center-Bentonville
• Northwest Medical Center-Willow Creek Women’s Hospital in Johnson
• Siloam Springs Regional Hospital
• Northwest Benton County Physician Services in Bentonville
• Northwest Physicians group in Springdale
• Siloam Springs Clinic

The company also owns hospitals and clinics in El Dorado, Forrest City, Helena, and Newport.

For its part, ABCBS said it could not meet the hospital company rate increase demands because it would set them higher than other Arkansas hospitals and physician groups.

But on Wednesday (Aug. 22), a Community Health announced that negotiations had resumed between the hospital and insurer, and that the “existing contract between Northwest Health System and BCBS will continue without interruption.”

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