Blue Cross Blue Shield Oklahoma, Saint Francis Health System Reach New Contract Agreement

Monday, July 26th 2021, 9:19 pm
By: Jordan Tidwell

TULSA, Oklahoma -

Nearly 60,000 people can keep their doctors at St. Francis now that they have reached a deal with Blue Cross Blue Shield, just three days before coverage would have expired.

Patients have been worried since May, but now that there's a deal, they don't have to stress over finding a new doctor.

Related Stories: Blue Cross Blue Shield Of Oklahoma To End Contract With Saint Francis Health System

Logan Bellew had surgery Monday morning, trying to squeeze it in before the contract deadline between Blue Cross Blue Shield and St. Francis ended. 

"I was really worried last week, until my surgeon had that opening because we were getting so close to that deadline, and I had not heard back from Blue Cross on if my continuity of care was approved or not," Bellew said. 

Bellew is so relieved there's a deal, and he's thankful he can keep seeing the same doctors he has used since he was 17. 

Related Story: Patients Left In Limbo As Deadline Looms For Blue Cross Blue Shield, St. Francis Coverage Agreement

"Kind of like in limbo, just trying to figure out what provider do you want to switch to, what specialist you want to switch to, so it's just not a simple process," he said. 

With the new agreement, Blue Cross Blue Shield patients will continue to have in-network access to all services at Saint Francis hospitals and facilities. 

Blue Cross Blue Shield and St. Francis sent the following statement: 

“We are pleased to reach a new agreement that allows our members to continue receiving in-network care at Saint Francis,” said Joseph R. Cunningham, M.D., president of BCBSOK. “We take our role as stewards of our members’ health care premium dollars very seriously. This agreement proves our commitment to members by providing them with access to quality, cost-effective health care, while safeguarding them from future unexpected costs. We look forward to continuing our long-standing relationship with Saint Francis.”
“The future of healthcare is changing as are the relationships between hospitals and health plans. We need to work together to enhance how care is delivered and how patients are served. For the past several months of negotiations, both parties have been working toward this agreement that provides value for both BCBS’ members and Saint Francis Health System’s patients. Saint Francis is committed to leading the region into the future where care is comprehensive and costs are affordable,” said Cliff Robertson, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Saint Francis Health System. “We are Oklahoma’s healthcare leader; our pledge is to lead not only in delivering high-quality care, but to also lead in value, innovation and collaboration.”

Bellew said he just wishes the agreement would have been made sooner, but he's thrilled he doesn't have to make any changes. 

"That's why I'm glad this is resolved; I can stay within the network that I've entrusted for so long," Bellew said. 

This new contract is a three-year agreement.