While we are still awaiting the formal press release from Blue Shield, Vita is pleased to pass along the good news that a new two year contract has been negotiated with the Sutter Health hospitals and physicians. The new contract is effective February 1, 2015. The transitional arrangement between Sutter and Blue Shield for the month of January remains in effect, so that covered individuals should not experience a gap intheir in-network benefits.
Here is the statement directly from Blue Shield:
We are pleased to announce that Blue Shield and Sutter Health have signed a new two-year agreement effective February 1, 2015. This means that Sutter hospitals and doctors will continue to be participating providers in the Blue Shield network.
We apologize to our customers who experienced uncertainty or disruption of care due to the termination of our previous agreement with Sutter Health. Blue Shield negotiates with providers with the goal of obtaining rates that help us keep healthcare coverage affordable. While the specifics of the new contract are confidential, we are pleased to say that the existing legal rights of Blue Shield and our customers have been protected. The principles Blue Shield fought for in this negotiation with Sutter have been preserved.
Blue Shield will be issuing a press release today regarding this news. In addition, we will also be communicating this announcement to employer groups located in the Sutter Health regions (central and northern California) and to impacted Blue Shield members.
For more information, please visit our Sutter Health Information Web page to view a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) as well as a copy of our Blue Shield letter announcing this news to members.