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BCBS Contracts With Three Oklahoma Hospitals Expire

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PRAGUE, Oklahoma -

Some Oklahomans who get their insurance through Blue Cross Blue Shield, including those who are on Obamacare, may have to find a new hospital or a new doctor.

BCBS has confirmed the contracts between BCBS and hospitals in Prague, Fairfax and Stigler expired July 1. According to the insurer after October 29 members will no longer pay in-network rates at Fairfax Community Hospital, Haskell County Community Hospital and Prague Community Hospital.

In Prague, between the ER, the hospital, and the clinic they serve thousands of patients in the area. Mary Ann Ward has been a P.A. at Prague Community Hospital for nine years now. She grew up in the area, she's passionate about her patients and also worried about them.

“Here’s the thing, a lot of these patients here are older patients. They live in the rural areas,” she explained. “These patients, it’s hard for them to get places. A lot of them, it’s hard for them to go to the city.”

The hospital's CEO Randy Simmons said BCBS wanted to drastically cut their payments so they weren't able to agree to a contract. Without a deal, after October 29, BCBS members will either have to go somewhere else, pay more or switch insurance carriers. He says that won't only be bad for the patients, but the hospital too.

“Ultimately if we can’t negotiate this some of the impact could be loss of staff and ultimately loss of a provider or more.”

In a letter to patients, Blue Cross Blue Shield said members still have access to five hospitals in the surrounding area.  The closest one according to our calculations is in Seminole 22 minutes away.

“In an emergent situation that could mean life or death,” said Simmons.

Simmons, however, is still optimistic they can negotiate a deal with BCBS.

Mary Ann sure hopes so, not only for her patients. She's a BCBS member too.

“If it’s a test that’s going to be expensive, then yes. I’ll have to go elsewhere.”

Here’s a list of closest hospitals: 

Fairfax

Pawhuska Hospital Inc.

1101 E. 15th St., Pawhuska, OK 74056

Cleveland Area Hospital

1401 W. Pawnee ST., Cleveland, OK 74020

AllianceHealth Ponca City

1900 N. 14th St., Ponca City, OK 74601

Haskell County

Sequoyah Memorial Hospital

213 E. Redwood Ave., Sallisaw, OK 74955

Latimer County General Hospital

806 Highway 2 N, Wilburton, OK 74578

McAlester Regional Health Center

1 E Clark Bass Blvd., McAlester, OK 74501

Prague

St. Anthony Shawnee Hospital

1102 West MacArthur St., Shawnee, OK 74804

AllianceHealth Seminole

1401 W. Wrangler Blvd., Seminole, OK 74868

Stroud Regional Medical Center

2308 W. Highway 66, Stroud, OK 74079

Creek Nation Community Hospital

309 N. 14th St., Okemah, OK 74859

Bristow Medical Center

700 W. 7th Ave., Ste. 6, Bristow, OK 74010

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