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Published on August 16, 2016

Billings Clinic and BCBSMT Launch New Network 

Blue Options Introduces Tiered Network in Billings with Billings Clinic to Create Additional Savings for Large Employer-sponsored Health Plans

Billings, MT— Billings Clinic and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT) are partnering to provide substantial value for large group health insurance plans.

Blue Options is a newly filed network that will enable members of BCBSMT large employer-sponsored health plans who purchase the product to earn a cost-of-care advantage by going to Billings Clinic for their medical needs. The Blue Options network will be available for self-funded plans beginning Jan. 1, 2017. A similar product for fully insured groups has been filed and is anticipated to also launch in the new year.

Blue Options creates what is called a “tiered” network. Under the structure, Billings Clinic is the only Tier 1 facility in the network in Yellowstone County and therefore provides lower cost of care to Blue Options members. Members still have choice and may choose providers from BCBSMT’s broad Preferred Provider Network, although at a lesser benefit and higher cost.

“Billings Clinic has been a long-time partner with BCBSMT and supportive of working together to identify innovative approaches to health care cost reduction,” said Nicholas Wolter, MD, CEO of Billings Clinic. “This partnership will further that objective.”

“We are all about people, health and value. It’s who we are as a company,” said BCBSMT President Mike Frank. “Blue Options extends our longstanding partnership with Billings Clinic and bolsters our strategy to contain costs, improve health outcomes, and enhance the customer experience.”

Blue Options will not be limited to Yellowstone County. Dr. Monica Berner, chief medical officer at BCBSMT who oversees network management, said Blue Options network products will also launch in other locations down the line.

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