Folwell stopping fight for now with hospitals over pricing

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina's state treasurer is cutting bait for now on efforts to bring on board dozens of additional hospitals to accept a new payment model for medical services incurred by state employees, teachers and retirees.

Treasurer Dale Folwell said Thursday that the 725,000 participants in the state employee insurance health plan will still receive in-network hospital coverage through the current provider network offered through Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

But they'll also have similar preferred benefits with providers who agreed to the new pricing model Folwell pushed for the past year. He says that model would lead to lower and more transparent plan expenses.

A second deadline passed this week with only five hospitals agreeing to the new model. Time was running out to act with fall open enrollment approaching.