BJC HealthCare cracks down on out-of-network patients

A BJC HealthCare flag flies in front of the Boone Hospital Center, one of BJC's 13 hospitals in the state. | Photo by Nicole Lunger
A BJC HealthCare flag flies in front of the Boone Hospital Center, one of BJC’s 13 hospitals in the state. | Photo by Nicole Lunger/Missouri Business Alert

BJC HealthCare,  the state’s biggest hospital system, announced publicly its plans to redirect out-of-network patients to in-network providers.

With many consumers currently selecting insurance plans, the hospital system wants them to think twice before picking a plan that doesn’t include BJC as an in-network provider.

“From now on, if you choose an insurance plan that does not have BJC we will turn you away,” said Emily Bremer, a partner at Bremer Conley, a Clayton-based insurance brokerage firm, and BJC representative.

The nonprofit system will first redirect patients to an in-network provider. If out-of-network patients still want to seek care with BJC, they can; they’ll just need to provide a “secure form” of payment upfront in nonemergency situations. That would include a credit card, said June Fowler, BJC spokeswoman.

BJC says it’s “not appropriate” for a consumer to knowingly choose a plan with lower premiums and then seek care at a hospital, or with a physician, that is out-of-network.

Read more from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch


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