Health First Issues Update to Clarify Health System’s Ongoing Negotiations with Florida Blue

HEALTHCARE NEWS

Health First officials released a statement on Thursday to provide accurate information to the public and clarify the health system’s ongoing negotiations with Florida Blue, one of the state’s largest health insurance providers. Founded in 1995, Health First operates four hospitals—Cape Canaveral Hospital, Holmes Regional Medical Center, Palm Bay Hospital and Viera Hospital—and is home to the county’s only Level II Trauma Center.

HEALTH FIRST: ‘Florida Blue is trying to exert negotiating leverage over Health First through the media’

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Health First officials released a statement on Thursday to provide accurate information to the public and clarify the health system’s ongoing negotiations with Florida Blue, one of the state’s largest health insurance providers.

“These contract renewals are typically a routine event, although in the current negotiation, Florida Blue has been unwilling to agree to terms that are fair to Health First,” said Health First officials in a statement.

“While Florida Blue is trying to exert negotiating leverage over Health First through the media, do not be misguided by their narrative. This is being done in an effort to completely negotiate in favor of their profit margin, not in the name of providing quality healthcare at a fair price. Florida Blue recently rejected our last counter-proposal despite the fact that it fell within market-level standards.”

Health First officials stressed that Florida Blue is unwilling to negotiate on fair terms with Health First and is demanding rate adjustments that are less than the cost increases experienced by its hospitals and physicians.

“As a not-for-profit healthcare system, we must ensure that the rising costs of healthcare are met or we will not be able to continue to serve you in the manner that you are accustomed to,” said Health First officials.

“Health First cannot accept contract terms that result in less than fair market payments for our services. At Health First, we will always put customers first and are committed to you, not insurance companies’ profit margins.”

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Health First officials said that it would be unfortunate if Florida Blue allows the current contract to terminate as they will have rejected terms offered by Health First that fit within reasonable market standards.

“We will continue our efforts to fight for accessible, affordable quality healthcare in Brevard County,” said Health First in a statement.

Founded in 1995, Health First operates four hospitals—Cape Canaveral Hospital, Holmes Regional Medical Center, Palm Bay Hospital and Viera Hospital—and is home to the county’s only Level II Trauma Center.

Health First also includes Health First Health Plans, which offers a variety of health insurance options across Central Florida, and Health First Medical Group, a multi-specialty physician group.

The fully integrated delivery network also offers outpatient and wellness services, including fitness centers, home care, hospice care, aging services, and family pharmacies.

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