Blue Shield of California, UCLA Health System Make Nice

LOS ANGELES -- Blue Shield of California and the UCLA Health System reached a three-year agreement that will allow people insured by the insurance company to once again be treated at university facilities, it was announced Friday.

Under the contract, which expires Dec. 31, 2011, Blue Shield HMO and PPO members can receive care at all UCLA Hospital System facilities, and Blue Shield PPO members will have access to UCLA Medical Group primary care and subspecialty providers.

"Our nearly 595,000 members in Los Angeles County will have broader access to quality medical care as a result of this agreement. Now that we have concluded this agreement, we are looking forward to jointly growing our membership in the Greater Los Angeles area," said Juan Davila, Blue Shield's vice president of network management.

Blue Shield members include employees with the California Public Employee Retirement System and the Motion Picture Association.

The old contract between the insurer and the university expired May 1, meaning UCLA Medical Group service was no longer considered a preferred option for Blue Shield members.

"This was a very welcome event for all participants, who have worked hard and long to come to an agreement," said Dr. Thomas E. Sibert, president of the UCLA Faculty Practice Group.

"Most important, however, in any resolution like this is the chance to once again restore a full relationship between families and individuals in Blue Shield who need medical services and the UCLA Health System. We deeply regret any disruption in that relationship and look forward to helping our Blue Shield patients with their health care."

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