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Turner Once Again Urges Horizon, Capital Health To End Stalemate

Says She’s Been in Contact with Both Sides, and Wants Resolution on Behalf of Healthcare Consumers

TRENTON – Senator Shirley K. Turner, D-Mercer, issued the following statement today urging Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and Capital Health Systems to end the stalemate which is costing Horizon subscribers access to Capital Health’s Helene Fuld Medical Center:

“Resolution is long past overdue in the battle between Horizon Blue Cross and Capital Health over reimbursement for medical services. As the impasse escalates into an all-out ad war, the people who will be losing out the most are the subscribers caught in the crossfire.

“An article in today’s Trenton Times highlighted the latest salvos fired in the ad war, and how both organizations are investing dollars that could better be used to fund access to direct care for those in need in order to sway public opinion to their side. I find it more than a bit ironic that this whole conflict began over money, and now both organizations seem to have money to burn on divisive advertisements that will only make matters worse.

“Instead of trying to negotiate through ‘he said-she said’ advertisements in the local paper, I urge both sides to negotiate at the negotiating table. We must put this foolishness behind us for the greater public good.

“I’ve reached out to officials from both organizations, and urged them to abide by the offer of arbitrary third-party mediation, under the Public Advocate, that was made by Governor Corzine. While Capital Health expressed willingness to participate in mediation, Horizon is still hemming and hawing. I urged Horizon officials again today to reconsider sitting down with the Advocate to come to a conclusion to this impasse.

“With Horizon subscribers losing access to care provided through the Fuld Medical Center, this is no longer a dispute about what’s best for either Capital Health or Horizon. This is now a concern of the public good, and the health and safety of the hundreds of thousands of Horizon subscribers living in the Mercer County area hangs in the balance.

“Again, I’m calling on both sides to act like adults and come to the negotiating table, so we can finally restore access to care for the health care consumers caught in the middle of this conflict. Ongoing bickering doesn’t serve anyone, and it’s time we put an end to it, once and for all.”

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