WARRENSBURG Hudson Headwaters Health Network has reached agreement with BlueShield of Northeastern New York (BSNENY) regarding payment for primary health care services, said Hudson Headwaters CEO, John Rugge, M.D. BSNENY joins CDPHP, Empire Blue Cross and MVP in agreeing to terms that ensure that Hudson Headwaters will receive payment that covers the cost of care. This is great news for our patients, Rugge said. He noted that more than 4,000 network patients are insured through BSNENY, including those signed up with Senior Blue. New York State and the rest of the nation is struggling to find ways to provide health care and hold down costs, Rugge said. Primary care is clearly recognized as the most effective and least expensive way to provide basic health care services. Rugge added that Hudson Headwaters recent negotiations with its four largest insurers indicate that they understand that the health care system could collapse unless primary care can thrive. Private insurance companies must be part of the solution to our health care problems, Rugge said. Clearly, BSNENY, CDPHP, Empire Blue Cross and MVP Health Care have done the right thing for their patients. BlueShield of Northeastern New York has a longstanding, mutually beneficial relationship with Hudson Headwaters Health Network, said Jay Pomerantz, MD, BSNENYs chief medical officer/senior vice president. As we have said throughout the negotiation process, our intent always was to work together with Hudson Headwaters to find an agreeable resolution that maintains our commitment to quality care and access for our members in the Adirondack communities. Rugge said that agreement with all four of Hudson Headwaters major carriers caps the first phase of a sustained campaign to reshape health care in the North Country and beyond. He pointed to strong community support as the primary reason for the success of negotiations with the private insurance companies. We owe tremendous thanks to Supervisor Bill Thomas of Johnsburg who got the ball rolling with his fellow supervisors throughout Warren County and other neighboring counties. Rugge said. Senator Betty Little and Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward took up our cause with the governor. Then U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer and Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand personally made phone calls on our behalf. Nobody could ask more, or expect as much, from public officials with already full plates.