Lincoln Daily News
welcomes letters of appreciation, information and
opinion on matters pertaining to the community.
community we need to be able to talk openly about
matters that affect the quality of our lives. The
most effective and least offensive manner to get
your point across is to stick to the issue
and refrain from commenting on another person's
opinion. Letters that deviate from focusing on the
issue may be rejected or edited and marked as such.
Submit a letter to the editor online
You may also send your letters by email to
or by U.S. postal mail:
Letters to the Editor
Lincoln Daily News
601 Keokuk St.
Lincoln, IL 62656
Letters must include the writer's
name, telephone number, and postal address or email address (we
will not publish address or phone number information).
Lincoln Daily News reserves the right to edit letters to
reduce their size or to correct obvious errors.
Lincoln Daily News reserves the right to reject any letter for
any reason. Lincoln Daily News will publish as
many acceptable letters as space allows.
To the editor:
OSF HealthCare is still part of Blue Cross and Blue
Shield of Illinois PPO plans through December 31, 2017. At the
beginning of this month, while still engaged in active negotiations,
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois announced plans to drop three
hospitals from its PPO network: OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical
Center (Peoria); OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center
(Rockford); and OSF HealthCare St. Mary Medical Center (Galesburg).
The termination was issued unilaterally by Blue Cross and Blue
Shield of Illinois, and is set to occur January 1, 2018.
By removing these hospitals from its network, BCBSIL eliminates
important referral centers and reduces patient access to advanced,
critical services within our system. Without patient access to our
terminated hospitals, OSF HealthCare was forced to terminate most of
its remaining Blue Cross and Blue Shield hospital agreements. As of
the first of the year, Illinoisans with BCBS PPO health insurance
plans will only be able to access care at hospitals owned by OSF
HealthCare using out-of-network benefits. The one exception will be
OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony’s Health Center in Alton, which will
remain in the BCBSIL PPO network.
“OSF HealthCare is an accountable care organization committed to
population health, which is achieved through ensuring patients have
access to the full resources of its integrated health care delivery
system,” said Randy Billings, OSF HealthCare senior vice president
of population health. “By eliminating three of our hospitals from
its network, Blue Cross and Blue Shield eliminates important
referral centers and patient access to nearby specialty care -
including our children’s hospital.”
OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois was recently ranked
in the top 50 by U.S. News & World Report for pediatric urology and
neonatology. Blue Cross and Blue Shield has several quality programs
recognizing hospitals and their performance to help members
determine the best place for care, including Blue Distinction
Specialty Care and Blue Distinction Total Care. OSF HealthCare
hospitals are consistently high-performing in most of these
programs. For a detailed listing, go to the Blue Cross and Blue
[to top of second column in this letter]
Patients with Blue Cross and Blue Shield PPO plans living in rural
communities served by OSF HealthCare hospitals will only be able to
seek care in their own town, or access nearby tertiary and
quaternary care in Peoria and Rockford, using out-of-network
“We are deeply disappointed and concerned by recent actions taken by
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois,” said Billings. “It is our
hope that Blue Cross and Blue Shield will realize the value of
having OSF HealthCare hospitals in its network for its members. OSF
is open to continuing discussions with Blue Cross and Blue Shield to
avoid a disruption to patients.”
BCBSIL members can contact their employer regarding other insurance
company choices or may direct concerns or benefit plan inquiries to
the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Customer Service phone number at
In the meantime, OSF HealthCare encourages employers and community
members who rely on us for their health care needs to choose an
insurance product that ensures access to the full breadth of
services that OSF HealthCare provides. OSF HealthCare participates
in most national and local managed care plans. A complete list can
be found at osfhealthcare.org.
Karen Brodbeck/Randy Billings
Click here to send a note to the editor about this letter.