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After four months without a contract, Stellaris Health Network announced today that it has reached a new three year deal with Empire BlueCross BlueShield.
Details of the contract were not made public, but Stellaris spokesman, Geoff Thompson says the new contract will mean thousands of patients in Westchester County will again be able to use the hospitals, effective immediately. Stellaris health owns White Plains Hospital, Northern Westchester, Lawrence Hospital and Phelps Memorial Hospital Center. The previous contract expired April 1, leaving thousands of patients scrambling to find alternate means of in-network treatment.
Some encouraging news today in the ongoing contract dispute between four Westchester County hospitals and Empire BlueCross BlueShield. Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner, who's been trying to broker a return to the bargaining table, today said he has word from Empire President Mark Wagar that the hospitals' parent company, Stellaris Health Network, has presented the insurer with a revised proposal that Wagar says "Signals a compromise."
Wagar went on to call it a positive development for Empire BlueCross BlueShield patients in Westchester.
Feiner Calls for Resumption of Talks Between Empire BlueCross BlueShield and 4 Westchester Hospitals
Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner is adding his voice to the growing list of lawmakers calling for Empire BlueCross BlueShield to sit down and resume contract talks with four Westchester County Hospitals. The insurers' contract with Stellaris Health Network, which owns White Plains Hospital Center,Northern Westchester Hospital, Phelps Memorial Hospital and Lawrence Hospital expired on March 31.
Stellaris spokesman, Geoff Thompson says both sides have spoken, but no real progress has been made. The sticking point remains reimbursement rates. Empire BlueCross BlueShield CEO Mark Wagar says his company has made a "generous" offer to Stellaris Health Network, a 20 percent increase over a three year period.
Stellaris Health Network President and CEO Arthur A. Nizza said "Stellaris can no longer subsidize the record profits of a health insurance congolomerate."
Thousands of Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Customers are struggling to figure out a way to arrange for their healthcare after the insurance carrier failed to reach agreement with Stellaris Health Network, which is comprised of four prominent Westchester County Hospitals.
The hospitals involved include Northern Westchester Hospital, Phelps Memorial Hospital Center, White Plains Hospital Center and Lawrence Hospital.
The two sides were unable to reach a new contract agreement despite months of talks. The contract expired at midnight March 31.
Stellaris spokesman Geoff Thompson says Blue Cross Blue Shield simply walked away from the table after the deadline came and went, with no new talks scheduled.
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