Changes possible for Fort Lee healthcare plan

By Laura Geller - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

FORT LEE, VA (WWBT) - Changes may be coming to the military's healthcare plan and that has some people worried, especially at Fort Lee.

Here's the crux of a very complicated negotiation - essentially, if you're in the army and your family uses any HCA hospital for services, you may have to find a new place for your medical procedures.

We went down to Fort Lee Wednesday. Military personnel tell us they've heard the talk and they're getting anxious. Military families regularly use HCA hospitals for services like child birth, orthopedics or cardiology.

Now, the group wants to renegotiate its contract. It's seeking to get more money as reimbursement for services. We're told HCA wants a higher rate than Tricare normally gives. Six area hospitals, which military personnel go to, could be impacted.

They include: CJW Chippenham Medical Center, CJW Johnston Willis Medical Center, Henrico Doctors' Hospital, both the Forest and Parham campuses, John Randolph Medical Center and Retreat Hospital.

"If we do not renegotiate successfully with HCA, they will have a non-network status on the 2nd of November.  We will attempt to place the care that has previously gone there in our network hospitals," said Health Net Federal Services Vice President Rick Bloomquist.

Network hospitals include the Bon Secours Health System and Southside Regional Medical Center.

There's one very important thing to remember. This impacts hospitals, not specific doctors. So, Health Net Federal Services tells us it's looking to make sure the doctors Fort Lee families use can work at facilities included in the health network. Patients might have to get used to new facilities, but they can keep their favorite doctors.

It's also important to remember negotiations are ongoing and nothing is final just yet. Right now the deadline for some sort of agreement is November 2. HCA and Health Net say they'll continue to talk, hoping to be able to give patients the most choice for healthcare.

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