Blue Cross & Blue Shield Contract Update

Blue Cross & Blue Shield Contract Update

Friday, March 5, 2021

SARASOTA, FL — Negotiating reasonable administrative terms and fair reimbursement rates with insurance companies every few years is standard practice for medical providers. The terms and enforceability of these contracts are essential to SMH’s ability to provide a wide variety of high-quality services in the future.

SMH and its First Physicians Group (FPG) practices have not yet been able to finalize a contract renewal agreement with Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS); however, the parties are making progress in talks and have agreed to extend the contract through June 30, 2021 to continue to work on outstanding issues.

BCBS has been a valued partner in caring for our patients since 1994, and SMH is committed to working through our mutual concerns before the contract expires on June 30.

BCBS Member Info

We know that BCBS members have concerns. For answers to common and the latest contract negotiation updates, visit

While there are many details to discuss, most issues revolve around preserving important provisions in our existing contract that provide access to needed healthcare services for all BCBS members, protect our patients from claim denials and ensure prompt payment for services rendered.

If we cannot reach mutually acceptable terms by June 30, when the contract ends, our hospital and complete system of outpatient and urgent care centers — including FPG physicians — will become out-of-network providers for BCBS members starting July 1, 2021.

Sarasota Memorial’s highest priority is to ensure our community has access to affordable, high-quality, comprehensive medical care. Over the years, SMH has remained true to its public mission as the community’s only not-for-profit, safety-net hospital. Today, we continue to rank among the nation’s top hospitals while providing vital mission services that other local hospitals do not — including a life-saving trauma center, critical care nursery, pediatrics, and maternity services.

For answers to your frequently asked questions and future contract negotiation updates, please visit