Mission Health's Full Page Ad Really Says "You Pay Too Little"

Remember that time your local grocer took out a full page ad in all the major newspapers to proudly announce they were raising their prices on everything? You don't? Maybe because that's a crazy thing for any business to do. So how come that's exactly what Mission Health did this weekend? 

Last weekend, Mission Health ran expensive full-page ads in North Carolina newspapers that aren't even in Western North Carolina, trying to convince North Carolinians to call Blue Cross and beg them to raise their premiums.   


("How much is enough?" is what we should be asking them, not them asking us...)

You don't have to read the whole thing, though it's kind of funny watching a company that is currently spending $400 million on a building project, starting a new insurance company, and just got legislation passed to let them raise their rates with less scrutiny explain why their patients should give them even more money. 

Here's the part that should make you most angry. 


First of all, $400 million in construction costs is entirely in their control. So is running ads in the most expensive media markets in the state.

But, putting that aside, as we have discussed many times, yes, medical costs are rising, and it is a serious problem for all of us. But we need Mission Health to be on our side in keeping those costs down. They say here that the rising prices are "all entirely out of Mission's control," but are they?

Mission Health is a big hospital system with a lot of power at the bargaining table. So why are they only using that power to raise rates? Why not to lower costs? Why didn't Mission buy a full page ad expressing outrage about that $475,000 leukemia treatment?  

If Mission were honest, its ad would have looked something like this.


Mission, instead of fighting tooth and nail to squeeze even more money out of your patients, why don't you spend that energy working to lower costs and pass along those discounts to your customers? 

Are you concerned about rising health care costs? Join our coalition to help make a difference and stay informed about the local, state and national issues that are costing you. 

Showing 14 reactions

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  • Alex Newman
    commented 2017-11-15 13:02:16 -0500
    My mother recently went to Mission for cancer and a heart condition. The staff there are and continue to be highly skilled professionals that provide high-quality support. I also know that Mission goes out of its way to help people that can’t afford health care. Mission is also the largest employer in WNC.

    Mission is the heart of Western North Carolina.

    This blog is obviously a failed propaganda piece, made even more obvious if you look into the author’s background. This was paid for BCBS, and does not represent our interests here in the mountains.

    The company that I work for just recently changed to Aetna insurance, and I’m glad they did. I recommend that other companies follow our lead.
  • Ash Ville
    commented 2017-11-08 15:10:18 -0500
    Ask your nurse the average experience on the floor. Most of the seasoned RN’s are being squeezed out to make way for the book smart, fresh out of school RN’s. Hire two for the price of one, managers demoted, pay dropped, and then asked to do the same job they did. It really is “clearance time” with dollar tree staff. No disrespect to any of the staff intended. It is a sad fact in all disciplines, and that includes the transfer of doctors and surgeons to other non Mission facilities in the area, with comments like “you care more about your bottom line rather than your patients”.

    “Healthy State” Missions brand new (2016) for profit, insurance plan. Competition for Blue Cross/Blue Shield, except they left 10/05/17! New signs at the doctors office already for “Healthy State”. Call it a conspiracy, but can they really get these measured and erected so quickly after the event

    Oh and for the former comments about the infrastructure, just take a look at the parking lot at Mission. Half blocked off, with a rumor that a civil engineer sent pictures to the authorities on the state of disrepair.
  • Burney Minard
    commented 2017-11-06 05:01:08 -0500
    I worked there for two years
    If people knew how filthy and run down the infrastructure is, they’d think twice about going to Mission
    That spend nothing until a piece of equipment fails completely, then its no holds barred to get it fixed.
    Hope I never have to go there for anything, ever again
  • Nicki Baker Roberts
    commented 2017-11-02 12:38:39 -0400
    Mission is absolutely disgusting! I am covered by BCBS and I can say personally that yes the system is beyond broken and that insurance companies are in it for the buck BUT so IS MISSION! I’m sorry but they are the HIGHEST paid medical system in the entire state of NC they are playing woe is me and trying to use fear mongering to get patients to back their call for MORE money! Mission doesn’t need more money they need a reality check on effecttive waste control, quality record keeping, actually caring about patients and not what coverage they have and allowing that to dictate what care you receive, how about they could spend million in advertising and letters requesting donations to “fight” big “bad” BCBS as well as support teams to find patients all new providers because they weren’t willing to recognize they weren’t eligible for more money! Not only that but Mission has created an entire monopoly in the medical field in WNC to the point of shutting down fine outstanding doctors because they didn’t “like” those doctors medical record systems when really there were no problems other than they lost business to the providers outside their system! Now you have to travel at least an hour to get any kind of care outside of a Mission network provider and based on the amount of errors and disgusting treatment through their network I would take that trip any day! They knew people couldn’t afford to lose them so they used that to create a state of fear and panic to try and bully their way to more money! If BCBS was such a problem would the state have awarded them the government insurance contracts multiple years in a row including this year despite Missions claims?! Think about that for a minute! Someone really needs to investigate Mission and what’s really happening in WNC community because the patients are the ones that are suffering NOT MISSION and NOT BCBS!
  • Miles Togopolis
    commented 2017-10-20 18:19:36 -0400
    Typical propaganda piece from Big corporate insurance who is always are more interested in profits than anything else under the sun, including the truth or anyone’s health.
  • Dave Nalesnik
    commented 2017-10-18 06:17:37 -0400
    So, this homey blog, which looks so much like a grassroots effort, is headed up by this guy:
    “Matt Bales is Executive Director of the North Carolina Coalition for Fiscal Health. He brings to the job a real-world knowledge of politics from experience as Political Director of the North Carolina Republican House Caucus. He produced winners in 19 of 21 targeted races in 2012, creating the GOP’s largest state House majority in history.”
    -from johnlocke.org
    That tells me everything I need to know about the alleged “independence” of this group.
    ASTROTURF, imo.
  • Angela Song
    commented 2017-10-13 15:14:42 -0400
    Just in ER last night with my mom…unbelieveable chaos and little reason to be impressed. A couple of nurses were awesome but the majority were either too new or too indifferent. Sad state of affairs…while the CEO is pulling in at least a million a year.
  • Chip Tollison
    commented 2017-10-04 20:09:50 -0400
    BCBS states they don’t negotiate during a period of contract termination, as they have to focus their resources on getting patients to new physicians and hospitals. This is LAUGHABLE!!! Do they really think we are so stupid as to assume that the people handling the phone calls and network information are the SAME people who are doing the negotiation of rates with Mission? They truly insult our intelligence.
  • John Fiscal Health NC
    commented 2017-09-27 15:56:05 -0400
    We appreciate all the comments on our site, and are excited to foster a discussion about healthcare costs in NC.

    It is understandable that the subject of Mission Health and BCBSNC raises a lot of emotion. It is very frightening to not know whether your local hospital will continue to accept your insurance.

    The Coalition stands behind the accuracy of this post. We believe health care costs should be going down, not up, and that it is up to everyone in the industry, including hospitals and insurers, to do what they can to make costs more affordable for patients, not more costly.

    Though we are proud that Blue Cross NC has shown their commitment to lowering healthcare costs as one of our many coalition members, NCCFH is an independent organization. You can learn more here http://www.fiscalhealthnc.com/about
  • Jody Bender
    commented 2017-09-27 05:56:07 -0400
    Poorly written and obviously not accurate. Nice try.
  • James Fuller
    commented 2017-09-22 13:19:25 -0400
    Nice try BCBS (with heavy emphasis on the BS part). You are the elephant in the room not Mission. Mission cares about their patients and employees before profits. BCBS on the other hand is driven by profits and noting else. You could care less whether someone lives or dies as long as you get paid for your services. You could say BCBS is more like the Mafia in how they protect you. Once you are signed-up it’s “F U Pay me or else” Did you get FOX News to write this for you?
  • David Gillette
    commented 2017-09-22 12:10:39 -0400
    As someone who is covered by BCBS, I am disappointed that they felt the need to put this story out there, especially how they tried to make it look like a blog created by someone without a vested interest in the issue. BCBS – I really wish that you had spent the time and money that went into this “blog post” sitting back down at the table with Mission and trying to get things worked out. Compromise is needed to work this out, but you currently seem more interested in trying to influence the court of public opinion. In the meantime, I am still not covered for any expenses at Mission starting in a month. I don’t mean to say that Mission is not to blame as well, just that putting out “blogs” like this make me think that BCBS is more interested in painting Mission as the “bad guy” than they are at resolving this issue.
  • Chip Tollison
    commented 2017-09-16 16:44:36 -0400
    BCBS profits DWARF Mission profits. Further, Mission cares for anyone coming into their ER / facilities regardless of payor. Will BCBS cover me if I miss my payment?? Not a chance! Why would anyone side with BCBS?

    In addition .. BCBS states if Mission will sign a contract, THEN they will negotiate with them. Don’t you negotiate BEFORE the contract is signed? I’ll never have BCBS again in my life.
  • Matt Spera
    commented 2017-09-13 21:07:41 -0400
    Do not get sick in Asheville…


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