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By Richard Asinof
PROVIDENCE – A memorandum of understanding was reached on Sept. 5 between Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island and Landmark Medical Center of Woonsocket to extend the previous insurance contract that had expired on July 16.
The agreement will move forward pending approval by Superior Court Judge Michael A. Silverstein at a hearing scheduled for Sept. 12.
Under the terms of the new agreement, the health insurance contract will be renewed until 90 days after the purchase of Landmark by Steward Health Care, or until Dec. 31, whichever date comes first, according to Kim Reingold, spokeswoman for Blue Cross.
The current deadline to reach a deal on the asset purchase agreement is Sept. 30.
In addition, Landmark Special Master Jonathan N. Savage agreed to drop his lawsuit against Blue Cross regarding alleged inequities in past reimbursement rates. Savage also agreed not to pursue such claims in any other forum. An initial hearing on that lawsuit had been scheduled for Aug. 30 but had been postponed.
Also, under the agreement, Landmark will not “issue any news release or other notices to current or former patients or providers with privileges at Landmark” that is not a joint release with Blue Cross or reviewed and approved by Blue Cross.
“This is an agreement with Landmark, not with Steward,” Reingold said.
Reingold declined to comment on the current status of ongoing negotiations between Steward and Blue Cross.