Anthem Blue Cross and Dignity Health could not agree on new contract terms, eliminating more than two dozen Dignity hospitals, medical groups and clinics across California from the Anthem network since July 16th.
Dignity, which is part of CommonSpirit Health and has the largest hospital network in California, threatened to terminate its contract for the vast majority of its Anthem business if the insurer did not agree to “excessive tax increases that they will make even less care in Dignity affordable, ”Blue Cross said. The termination of the contract has an impact on Anthem PPO, EPO, HMO and POS member businesses as well as some Medicaid and Medicare Advantage insurers, but the company has not been able to specify how many customers have been affected.
“Dignity rates are some of the highest among all health care systems in California, making it nearly 30% more expensive than other health care systems in the state,” wrote Anthem Blue Cross website. Dignity burdens the members of the commercial insurance more than three times the allowable Medicare rate for certain services, the insurer said. “If we were to give in to Dignity’s demands for excessive tax growth, it would result in higher costs for our members. It’s something we can’t do.”
The organization continues negotiations, which lasted six months, they said.
“We are doing everything we can to avoid disruption for our patients and communities. If we cannot reach a new agreement soon, we will provide additional information for our patients,” Dignity said in a statement.
Anthem helps patients continue online care in Dignity facilities if they are pregnant, undergoing a course of treatment, or if they have received preventive authorization, including other special circumstances, the company said. Otherwise, caring for Anthem Blue Cross members in many Dignity structures would cost more than anticipated until a new agreement is reached. Coverage for emergency care in Dignity hospitals will remain, in most cases.