SARASOTA, Fla. (March 30, 2018) — Today, Sarasota Memorial Health Care System (SMHCS) reached a final agreement with Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) on a new, three-year contract that will go into effect April 1, 2018. This agreement allows patients enrolled in BCBS health-insurance plans to continue to have uninterrupted, in-network access to Sarasota Memorial Hospital, its network of urgent and outpatient care centers, and its First Physicians Group providers.
With the existing contract set to expire March 31, there were concerns that Sarasota Memorial might become out of network for BCBS members. However, the new contract guarantees that there will be no disruption to patient care as SMHCS will remain in-network for BCBS members.
“Preserving our long-standing partnership with BCBS, and working together to ensure that our community has access to high-quality, affordable, comprehensive healthcare has been our top priority,” Sarasota Memorial President and CEO David Verinder said Friday. “We’ve appreciated the community’s continued patience and support throughout the negotiation process, and we look forward to continuing to work with BCBS to improve the health of the patients we serve.”
About Sarasota Memorial Health Care System
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is a regional referral center offering Southwest Florida’s greatest breadth and depth of care, with more than 900,000 patient visits each year. Its flagship 829-bed, acute-care hospital has been consistently recognized as one of the nation’s largest and best, with superior patient outcomes and a complete continuum of outpatient services – from urgent care, trauma and emergency services to laboratory and diagnostic imaging, home health, skilled nursing and rehabilitation. SMH is the only hospital in Florida to have consistently earned the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid's Services highest five-star quality award since the rating system launched in 2016.