Blue Cross, FMOL health system ink pact

Wade McIntyre

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady of Health System, or FMOL, announced the end of another contentious annual negotiation process, and an agreement to continue doing business together.

Blue Cross said last week the new contract will allow for a minimal inflationary increase, and that FMOL had agreed to hold the line by accepting insurance company’s final offer.

The agreement means St. Elizabeth Hospital in Gonzales and other members of the FMOL system will continue to operate within the state’s largest health insurance company.

Customers will experience “a minimal inflationary increase” under the new contract, according to Blue Cross.

“We have a long-standing relationship with FMOL, and our goal was always to keep them in our networks,” said Mike Reitz, Blue Cross President and CEO.

Under the new contract, FMOL’s contract provides for physicians and providers affiliated with or employed by the system to remain in the Blue Cross network.

“We’re just thankful, really, that the negotiation is over and that we have an agreement that is fair,” said Marketing Director Jon Hirsch of St. Elizabeth. “It was never our intent to create anxiety for our patients.”

Hospitals in the FMOL System include:

• Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, Baton Rouge

• Tau Center of Baton Rouge

• St. Elizabeth Hospital, Gonzales

• Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center, Lafayette

• Heart Hospital of Lafayette

• St. Francis, Monroe (both campuses)

• Assumption Community Hospital, Napoleonville

Customers who require an updated network listing of doctors participating in their network, or who want to see if a doctor has admitting privileges at a specific hospital can search for the information on Blue Cross’ Web site at www.bcbsla.com, or call the physician’s office.

Program ID cards also have a customer service number for use.