OFD Patients,

We have been receiving many inquiries of late into the recent contract disagreement between Mission Health and BCBSNC that has been widely covered in the media this past month. Accordingly, we have decided to post this statement of reassurance and clarity for our patients.

First of all, whatever the outcome of the ongoing dispute, if you have BCBSNC insurance, your relationship with Our Family Doctor will not be impacted. We are an independent practice, and while we do participate in the Mission Health Partners ACO (Accountable Care Organization) we are not Mission-owned and therefore contract independently with BCBSNC. Consequently, our practice continues to be a preferred provider within the BCBSNC network. So you will have no trouble seeing your OFD physician in the future.

If the unthinkable occurs, namely that Mission Health and BCBSNC do not resolve this dispute ahead of the October deadline, then unfortunately there will be some alterations in your care if you hold a BCBSNC insurance policy. Specifically, all non-emergent medical procedures done at a Mission Health practice or hospital (including surgeries and diagnostic testing) as well as visits with Mission Health consultants will no longer be preferred by BCBSNC. This will mean that if you choose to pursue said procedures/evaluations with a Mission Health provider your cost will be higher as it will be seen as “out of network”. Emergent care on the other hand that occurs at any of the Mission Health facilities will be covered as “in-network.”

Having said all that, and in spite of the ongoing perception of acrimony between the two sides, we as a practice remain hopeful that this dispute will be resolved before the October deadline. From what we have learned, this type of contract disagreement is not uncommon between hospital systems and third-party insurance carriers. Furthermore, 99% of the time these contract disputes become resolved.

If you will be impacted by this situation, we encourage you to get more involved by writing letters or emails and/or making phone calls to both Mission Health and BCBSNC sharing your concerns and desires for immediate resolution. The independent physicians at Our Family Doctor are hoping that these two important regional health care players will resolve their differences quickly so that our community and primary hospital system will avoid the many negative consequences of disassociation.

Michael Weizman, MD