Blue Shield Hosts Town Hall Meeting in Lincoln

LINCOLN, Neb.-- The latest dispute between Blue Cross Blue Shield and Catholic Health Initiative has some people wondering if they need to find a new hospital.

At a town hall meeting Monday night, BCBS detailed the negotiations they're having with CHI.

They say CHI facilities charge patients in Omaha 10 to 30 percent more than other area healthcare providers.

Most hospitals in the Lincoln area are not affected by these negotiations, however Saint Elizabeth and the Nebraska Heart Institute would be impacted.

10/11 spoke with parties from both sides of the dispute.

"We're an integrated network," said Medical Director for UniNet Lincoln, Dr. Barry Hoover. "And we like to function as a whole across the state as far as our facilities and physicians in Omaha go."

"Although we don't really have a concern with healthcare prices in these markets," said Sr. VP of Health Network Services for BCBS Lincoln, Lee Handke. "Unfortunately when we're working with Omaha, these markets are impacted as well."

The negotiations would not affect medicare customers. The deadline to come to an agreement is Aug. 31 but both parties seem unwilling to budge.

The titles of Hoover and Handke are mistakenly reversed in the above video.

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