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Mission’s pact with Blue Cross ends; now what?
Wednesday, 01 November 2017 21:54

From Staff Reports 

They really did it.

Industry analysts were not taking it too seriously. They had seen the bluff too many times before, and providers and insurers always came to a settlement by deadline.

But on Oct. 5, Mission Health really did allow its contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina to expire. 

All Mission physicians and facilities are now officially out-of-network, not just for BCBSNC, but for all carriers of any Blue Cross Blue Shield plans from any other state.

Those needing to use emergency services will always be in-network at the nearest hospital. Other exceptions include persons with qualified conditions or qualified extenuating circumstances. Federal employees will be out-of-network on Nov. 16, and persons receiving physical therapy from CarePartners will be out-of-network on March 3, 2018.

People may continue to receive services out of network. They will just have to arrange other terms of payment, and it will likely be more expensive.

Mission is assisting people running into difficulty finding alternative coverage. The help-line phone number is 417-0480, and the website is MissionStandsWithYou.org.

Spokespersons for Mission said they could not negotiate with BCBSNC as long as the insurer insisted on what has been called “forever zero.” 

In spite of the hospital’s continued capital growth and expansion, Mission argues BCBSNC’s payments would not only freeze reimbursement rates for the foreseeable future, they would cap them at an unworkable level.

Mission spokespersons said they would have accepted no reimbursement increase for persons who purchased insurance on the Obamacare exchanges because those people had no other option; but when the contract fell through, that provision fell with it.

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Raises, large bonuses under Greene prompt leaders to address breach in public trust
Wednesday, 01 November 2017 21:48

Officials admit they lack signed incentive deal for ex-county manager

From Staff Reports 

Under new County Manager Mandy Stone, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners has had a lot of housekeeping to do.

At first, items of business were presented as routine updates and nothing major. At some point, the dam broke, and leadership began talking about recovering from a breach in public trust.

 A few months ago, Wanda Greene, who had been serving as county manager for 20 years, announced she would retire early. Shortly thereafter, it was announced that Greene was under federal investigation, but details have yet to be made public. Local news media then shifted into investigative mode, with county salaries the target.

Greene’s son, Michael, resigned the day the federal investigation was confirmed. He had been collecting $120,350 as the county’s business intelligence manager, a position that existed only as long as he filled it.

Then, Greene’s sister, Irene Wolfe, who had been collecting $106,051 as county financial services manager, downgraded herself to “accountant” with a salary of $76,650.

In the latest twist, Buncombe officials’ reactions ranged from tempered to furious after learning in early October that Greene received her $241,792 retention incentive despite not staying until the end of the year, as stipulated in an unsigned written agreement. 

Buncombe Clerk of the Court Drew Reisigner said he was “appalled” by Greene’s recently revealed range of actions, asserting that “awarding raises to the county’s highest earners (including her) is an insult and a disgrace, especially in addition to other bonuses and incentives reported here.”

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