Maryland Congressional Delegation Members Urge Hopkins and CareFirst to Reach Contractual Agreement to Protect Marylanders’ Access to Health Care

October 20, 2022

Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Anthony G. Brown, Jamie B. Raskin and David Trone (all D-Md. ) sent a letter to Johns Hopkins Medicine CEO Ted DeWeese and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield President and CEO Brian Pieninck urging both parties to reach a contract resolution before the next deadline. health insurance enrollment to ensure that hundreds of thousands of Marylanders are not at risk of losing access to their current care.

“We are writing to express our concern about the state of contract negotiations between Johns Hopkins Medicine (Hopkins) and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst) which threatens the access of many of our constituents to affordable, high-quality health care in Maryland. We realize that if an agreement is not reached by December 5, 2022, many Marylanders will need to find new providers or switch to a new health insurance plan in order to continue accessing the care they need. need. As such, we strongly urge Hopkins and CareFirst to work collaboratively to achieve contract resolution before the December deadline,” wrote the lawmakers.

“We urge Hopkins and CareFirst to work collaboratively and earnestly to reach a fair contract resolution before the December 5, 2022 deadline that puts patients first, keeps pathways to high-level care open to all who depend on it and limit the impact on the cost of care for patients”, they concluded.

The full text of the letter can be consulted here and lower.

Dear Mr. DeWeese and Mr. Pieninck:

We are writing to express our concern about the state of contract negotiations between Johns Hopkins Medicine (Hopkins) and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst) that threaten many of our constituents’ access to affordable, high-quality health care in Maryland. We realize that if an agreement is not reached by December 5, 2022, many Marylanders will need to find new providers or switch to a new health insurance plan in order to continue accessing the care they need. need. As such, we urge Hopkins and CareFirst to work together to achieve contract resolution before the December deadline.

As you know, this negotiation process is taking place during open enrollment season, a critical decision-making time for patients and families as they consider which health plans will work best for them and their loved ones at course of the coming year. Although CareFirst members have been advised that this will not immediately impact anyone’s access to healthcare services offered by Hopkins, ongoing negotiation terms for provider rates continue to increase the uncertainty regarding coverage of primary care and specialist services, surgery centres, hospital status in the network and the impact on the cost of care for patients. If CareFirst and Hopkins fail to reach an agreement, nearly 40,000 providers employed by Hopkins will be out of network, including providers at Johns Hopkins’ flagship hospital, Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore, Howard County General Hospital in Columbia, Suburban Hospital in Bethesda and the Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington. We continue to hear many of our constituents worry that a breakdown in negotiations between Hopkins and CareFirst would significantly impede their access to primary and specialty care in the future.

We believe that Hopkins and CareFirst are committed to reaching a resolution that best serves patients in our communities in Maryland and surrounding areas who also rely on this collaborative system of care between Hopkins and CareFirst. We welcome the ongoing good faith negotiations and remain hopeful that the two organizations will find a solution before the December deadline. This resolution is vital to the health of our constituents in Maryland and patients who depend on specialty care in the Mid-Atlantic region.

We urge Hopkins and CareFirst to work collaboratively and earnestly to reach a fair contract resolution before the December 5, 2022 deadline that puts patients first, keeps pathways to high-level care open to all who care. depend and limits the impact on costs. of patient care.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,



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