PARKERSBURG, W.Va. and MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia (Highmark West Virginia) and WVU Medicine on Wednesday announced a long-term contract with WVU Medicine doctors and hospitals that will ensure access for all Blue Cross Blue Shield members in West Virginia. The contract encompasses all WVU Medicine facilities and WVU Medicine primary and specialist care practice sites across the state, as well as future facility or physician acquisitions.
“Highmark’s new multi-year contract agreement with WVU Medicine achieves an important balance: long-term access to the state’s largest health care system to provide quality care to our members, while also recognizing the need to maintain comprehensive and affordable health benefit programs for our customers throughout West Virginia,” said Jim Fawcett, president of Highmark West Virginia. “As health care costs continue to rise, we need to continue to work with all health care providers to reach mutually acceptable agreements that are in the community’s best interests.”
“We look forward to continuing to provide the highest quality and most efficient care to Highmark members across all of our hospitals and practice sites,” said Albert L. Wright, Jr., president & CEO of the West Virginia University Health System. “Our new agreement exhibits WVU Medicine’s long-term commitment to partner with Highmark to improve the health of West Virginians.”
Highmark West Virginia and WVU Medicine continue to work together to improve quality and cost for Blue Cross Blue Shield members. A number of WVU Medicine facilities hold Blue Distinction certification in bariatric surgery, cardiac care, knee and hip replacement, maternity care, spine surgery and adult bone marrow/stem cell transplants. Blue Distinction is a designation from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, providing Blue Plan members with a credible means of identifying hospitals that meet their individual health care needs for select procedures and conditions.
“WVU Medicine and Highmark West Virginia share the common goal of serving West Virginians,” Fawcett added. “We know that Blue Cross Blue Shield members deserve and expect top quality care here in West Virginia – close to home. It should be comforting for everyone in the region to know both companies are in agreement and fully aligned.”
The multi-year agreement between Highmark West Virginia and WVU Medicine includes WVU’s flagship hospital, J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown; Berkeley Medical Center in Martinsburg; Braxton County Memorial Hospital in Gassaway; Camden Clark Medical Center in Parkersburg; Jefferson Medical Center in Ranson; Potomac Valley Hospital in Keyser; Reynolds Memorial Hospital in Glen Dale; St. Joseph’s Hospital in Buckhannon; United Hospital Center in Bridgeport; Wetzel County Hospital in New Martinsville; and will also include Summersville Regional Medical Center in Summersville (effective July 1, 2019). The agreement also includes five institutes – the WVU Cancer Institute, the WVU Critical Care and Trauma Institute, the WVU Eye Institute, the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute, and the WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, as well as all hospital based services, including emergency, lab and imaging services, as well as pediatric, women’s health, behavioral health, surgical services.