Empire BlueCross BlueShield ("Empire") is currently in negotiations with Richmond University Medical Center for a new multiyear agreement. The facility agreement with Empire is due for renewal January 1, 2020. If an agreement is not reached at that time, the parties will enter into a 2 month cooling off period which means the hospital will remain participating until March 1, 2020. It is our sincere desire to reach an agreement with Richmond University Medical Center on reasonable terms so they can remain in network with Empire. We are working to reach an agreement that would protect affordability for our consumers and keep Richmond University Medical Center in our network beyond February 28, 2020.
Our number one priority during these negotiations is to protect consumers' access to healthcare that is affordable and meets their specific needs. Empire cares about the value of the healthcare coverage our members and their families receive. We also believe hospitals and doctors should be compensated fairly, and this is reflected in the terms we offer to providers to participate in our networks. We are seeking a contract that will allow our members continued in-network access to Richmond University Medical Center and we will continue to try to reach agreement.
Should we not reach an agreement with Richmond University Medical Center by February 28, 2020, Empire will continue to have nationally recognized, high-quality healthcare alternatives for our members.
Letters are being sent to Empire members with information to help ensure their healthcare needs continue to be met.