Nebraska insurer says hospital chain overcharging

By: Channel 8 Newsroom

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ One of Nebraska’s biggest health insurance firms is trying to force Catholic Health Initiatives to negotiate lower prices at its hospitals in the Omaha area. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska said Tuesday it notified Catholic Health Initiatives that it plans to terminate its contract with the provider at the end of August if an agreement can’t be reached.

The insurer says Alegent Creighton routinely charges more than other Omaha hospitals.

The contract covers all Alegent Creighton hospitals in Omaha, Schuyler, Plainview and Council Bluffs, Iowa. It also includes hospitals in Lincoln, Grand Island, Kearney and Nebraska City that are affiliated with Catholic Health Initiatives.

The 700,000 people insured by Blue Cross will be able to continue seeing doctors affiliated with the Catholic Health network at least through Aug. 31.