A critical deadline just passed within the hour for Blue Cross Blue Shield customers who use St. Francis hospital.
Blue Cross is threatening to pull its full coverage for patients at St. Francis, because the hospital is demanding more money for its services.
Thousands of people in the Ark-La-Miss have health insurance with blue cross blue shield and thousands of them go to St. Francis hospital.
The two companies have been embroiled in talks for months.
At one point blue cross announced it would walk away from St. Francis if the hospital system continues to demand more money.
Blue Cross put a new offer on the table this week, with a deadline that passed just an hour ago.
clock is ticking at St. Francis medical center in
In just 10 days those patients might be out of network.
That means paying a higher price for medical services, or having to go somewhere else.
"We’ve both moved from where our original position was we're both much closer,” said St. Francis CEO Louis Bremer.
"We have offered a more than fair reimbursement to St. Francis and the deal on that table reflects that,” said Blue Cross & Blue Shield CEO Mike Reitz.
Blue Cross and St. Francis have been fighting over how much money services are worth.
But the loser in that battle could very well be patients if nothing is done by the end of the month.
Blue cross CEO Mike Reitz says everything comes down to St. Francis being the highest paid hospital in the state and still asking for more money.
"We are trying to do everything we can to understand justification and to date; they've been unable to justify what they need so much more than the other hospitals in the state,” said Reitz.
"If you're raising your rates, but you're not going to pay the providers any more money, where's that money going to,” said Bremer.
Blue Cross gave St. Francis a new offer this week.
That offer had a make or break deadline of five o'clock today -- little more than an hour ago.
The Blue Cross CEO says they are literally on a conference call about that offer right now.
We’ll let you know as soon as any decision is reached.
St. Francis says they are already preparing patients just in case a deal is not reached by midnight on the 31st.
Blue Cross Website (Click on “Message to Our Customers in