We were the first station to tell you that the battle between Blue Cross Blue Shield and St. Francis Medical Center finally ended Thursday.
It's big news for lots of patients, but winning the battle for the patient wasn't easy.
There were tense moments Thursday as a deal between Blue Cross and St. Francis as part of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System literally went down to the wire.
agreement means thousands of blue cross patients will still get the same level
of coverage at the
The loser in the battle was patients, but both CEO's say patients were still number one.
One phrase pretty much sums up the mood around St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe and CEO Louis Bremer.
"Having our prayers answered,” said Bremer.
Thursday NBC 10 broke the news that Blue Cross patients will keep the same
level of coverage at the
"We know they are of significant value to our members and we are pleased that we were able to come to the conclusion,” said Blue Cross CEO Mike Reitz.
But that statement by Blue cross CEO Mike Reitz only tells part of the story.
insurance company and
"Most importantly the win's out there for the patient,” said Bremer.
But it's not the first time the two giants have put the certainty of a patient win in jeopardy.
Two years ago, the deal went down to the last minute.
"Our health system tried very hard to avoid that exact same thing from happening,” said Bremer.
Bremer says in his 33 years of experience, no insurance company has been so hard to deal with than Blue Cross
But Blue Cross's CEO says they always have their patient’s interest at heart for the lowest possible price.
Either way, both CEO's say the negotiating process needs to be less stressful and more open for customers.
"In the future are going to reacquire more transparency, I believe that’s what our customers are wanting and demanding,” said Reitz.
Both CEO's tell me they cannot discuss the terms of their deal, but they say St. Francis did get a slight increase of money over the last contract.
The new contract is good until at least 2012.