Chapel Hill, N.C. –  Haywood Regional Medical Center has withdrawn from the networks of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) – voluntarily and temporarily – as it addresses issues raised in recent inspections by the federal Medicare program.
The hospital’s withdrawal from BCBSNC’s networks is effective on March 1, 2008. Customers who have scheduled procedures or services at the hospital should contact their physicians.
“The Medicare inspections raise serious issues that must be addressed by Haywood Regional, and we accept and appreciate the hospital’s temporary withdrawal as it works to resolve these matters,” said Milo Brunick, BCBSNC vice president of Network Management. “We look forward to Haywood Regional rejoining our networks once it has secured Medicare certification, and the hospital assures us that no other quality-of-care concerns exist.”
Haywood Regional is assisting BCBSNC in helping customers make alternative arrangements for non-emergency services scheduled at the hospital.
BCBSNC products affected by the withdrawal are Blue Care®, Blue OptionsSM, Blue Options HRA, Blue Options HSA, and Blue Advantage®. It also affects members of the North Carolina State Health Plan participating in Blue Options PPO plans, as well as members of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Federal Employee Program. 
BCBSNC always advises members to go to the nearest hospital in an emergency.  During the withdrawal period, members can still continue to use Haywood for emergency services without prior authorization and at in-network benefit levels.
There is a wide choice of participating network hospitals to meet member needs while Haywood Regional is out of BCBSNC’s networks.  BCBSNC has eight participating hospitals within about 40 miles of Haywood Regional. The closest participating hospitals are Mission Hospitals in Asheville and Harris Regional Medical Center in Sylva.
“Haywood Regional Medical Center is an important health care, economic and community resource,” Brunick said. “It’s our hope and expectation that the hospital will quickly resolve this situation for our customers and all the people of Haywood County.”

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is a leader in delivering innovative health care products, services and information to nearly 3.6 million members, including approximately 825,000 served on behalf of other Blue Plans. For 75 years, the company has served its customers by offering health insurance at a competitive price and has served the people of North Carolina through support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Access BCBSNC online at