It should take just one day for a Sparrow-affiliated doctor to get privileges to practice medicine at Ingham Regional Medical Center.
That's because the mid-Michigan hospital is fast-tracking it's process of credentialing to give Sparrow doctors and their patients quick access to the facility in case Sparrow Hospital and Blue Cross Blue Shield can't come to an agreement.
Ingham officials say already more than 20 doctors have applied and received privileges from the hospital. The medical center has also installed extra ICU hospital beds in preparation for the contract between Sparrow and Blue Cross Blue Shield to expire Dec. 31.
If no agreement is made by that date, Blue Cross Blue Shield customers will also be accepted at the Sparrow-affiliated Clinton Memorial Hospital. That hospital is not affected by the negotiations between Sparrow and Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Sparrow officials have indicated they're asking for a $9.4 million increase in payments from the insurance each year. They say the insurance company has offered a $3 million increase, but they say that's not acceptable.
Lansing Blue Cross Blue Shield officials would not confirm whether or not the $3 million figure was accurate, but they did say their offer to the hospital is sufficient.
Both groups say there are no more scheduled negotiation meetings to discuss the issue, but both parties say they are willing to continue talking in order to come to an agreement by the end of the year.
For more information about the conflict, log on to
- Sparrow's Web site: www.sparrow.org
- Blue Cross Blue Shield's Website: www.bcbsm.com