Carlisle Regional reacts to two-tier health plan that could steer away business

Carlisle Regional Medical Center wants to provide cost-efficient care needed to retain access to people covered by health insurer Highmark Inc.

Carlisle Regional issued this statement Friday afternoon:

“CRMC has been working closely with Highmark over the past several months and has come to agreement on providing more cost-efficient and high quality care to the members in this community. CRMC will continue to work with Highmark in order to strengthen our relationship with them and the Highmark patients we serve.”

Carlisle Regional was reacting to the roll out of a new Highmark health plan that establishes two tiers of providers.

One of the tiers, which Highmark calls “standard value providers,” includes hospitals and doctors which Highmark contends cost more than most other hospitals in its provider network.

Carlisle Regional and Geisinger Health System are among these, and Highmark customers who use them will face higher out-of-pocket costs.

Highmark says lowering costs are the top concern of businesses shopping for health insurance.

The new Highmark plan, called Community Blue Premier Flex, is being marketed across central Pennsylvania, but the coverage won’t take effect until Jan. 1, 2014.

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