Highmark BCBSWNY, Catholic Health, and Catholic Medical Partners recently announced a new long-term contract agreement. A press release said, “This will ensure Highmark BCBSWNY members will have continued access to care at Catholic Health hospitals and its comprehensive network of services.”
“As the quality and patient safety leader in Western New York, it’s great news that Highmark BCBSWNY members can continue to receive in-network care at Catholic Health,” said health system President and CEO Mark Sullivan. “We want to thank Highmark for recognizing the important role we play in the lives of families across the region, and for reinvesting in the health and wellness of our community.”
The press release stated, “While the details will be finalized in the coming weeks, the long-term agreement will benefit the Western New York community by supporting Catholic Health programs, services and caregivers, and creating joint value-based objectives for the health plan and hospital system to improve health outcomes and manage rising health care costs.”
“For over 80 years, Highmark BCBSWNY has offered Western New Yorkers access to the broadest network of high-quality health care providers,” said Dr. Michael Edbauer, president, Highmark BCBSWNY. “We understand the value Catholic Health delivers to our community and that’s why we’re pleased to reach a long-term agreement to keep their hospitals in our network.”
The press release stated, “As one of the largest health systems in Western New York, Catholic Health serves thousands of patients across its network of hospitals, subacute care facilities, primary care centers, home care agencies, and diagnostic and treatment centers. Its hospital network includes Kenmore Mercy Hospital, Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, Mount St. Mary’s Hospital, and Sisters of Charity Hospital and its St. Joseph Campus.
“As the region’s largest independent practice association, Catholic Medical Partners joins with Catholic Health to transform care across the region.”
“We are pleased to continue our longstanding relationship with Highmark BCBSWNY to meet the medical needs of our community,” said Margaret Paroski, M.D., M.M.M., president and CEO and chief medical officer of Catholic Medical Partners. “This agreement with Highmark will support the important work our physicians do to address preventative care, chronic disease management, and social determinants of health for their patients.”
The press release stated, “Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York, as the region’s longest-standing and leading health plan, continues to offer the most comprehensive hospital and physician network in the region to their membership locally, as well as nationally through the Blue Cross Blue Shield ‘Blue Card’ program.”
Catholic Health facilities have received the Blue Distinction Center+ designations by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) for the following:
√ Sisters of Charity Hospital for bariatric surgery
√ Mercy Hospital of Buffalo for cardiac care
√ Sisters of Charity Hospital for spine surgery
√ Kenmore Mercy is a Blue Distinction Center+ for Spine Surgery and a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement
These designations are given by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) to only a select number of hospitals and health systems across the country based on quality and cost criteria. In addition, Catholic Health facilities are also designated by BCBSA as Blue Distinction Centers for the following:
√ Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, Sisters of Charity Hospital and Sisters of Charity Hospital – St. Joseph Campus for knee and hip replacement
√ Mercy Hospital of Buffalo for maternity care
Highmark BCBSWNY Medicare Advantage members, who chose to leave during the annual enrollment period, can rejoin the plan during Medicare’s open enrollment period, which runs from the start of January through the end of March.
Specific terms of the contract agreement were not disclosed.