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Blue Cross and Texas Health Resources reach new deal, avoiding interruption in coverage

The deal means there won't be an interruption in coverage for people who are insured by Blue Cross.

DALLAS — Southwestern Health Resources and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas have reached a new contract agreement as their current deal was set to expire Tuesday, officials announced in a joint statement.

The deal means there won't be an interruption in coverage for people who are insured by Blue Cross and get treatment through one of the largest healthcare systems in Texas.

Southwestern Health Resources includes Texas Health Resources and UT Southwestern Medical Center. Southwestern called the deal a "multi-year agreement" but provided no further details.

"This agreement provides BCBSTX members continued access to Southwestern Health Resources’ network providers, which includes UT Southwestern and Texas Health Resources doctors and facilities, enabling us to deliver our highest quality care to the hundreds of thousands of patients who give us the privilege of their trust and confidence," their statement said.

Said Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas president Jim Springfield: “We stood for our members and were able to reach an agreement in their best interest. The agreement reflects our mutual commitment to our members, customers and SWHR’s patients having access to high quality and affordable care."

Texas Health Resources operates 29 hospitals across North Texas, including Presbyterian in Dallas, Arlington Memorial and Harris in Fort Worth.

The company serves more than seven million people throughout the region.

On Sept. 20, Blue Cross officials announced that Southwestern Health Resources gave notice they were leaving Blue Cross networks after unsuccessful negotiations between the two sides.

Blue Cross accused Southwestern of "demanding significant increases" in rates over the next three years, though Southwestern officials said the two sides remained negotiating ahead of the expiring deal.

If the deal expired without a new agreement, UT Southwestern and Texas Health doctors would have left several Blue Cross networks, including the Par Plan, Blue Choice PPO, Blue Essentials, Medicaid and Medicare Advantage.

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