Contract negotiations continue between Anthem, UC Health - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Contract negotiations continue between Anthem, UC

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(FOX19) -

The negotiations continue between UC Health and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Ohio over their renewed contract terms.

UC Health previously wrote to Anthem last fall regarding their renewed contract, requesting higher reimbursement rates in accordance with an increased cost-of-living.

However, Anthem says the rates are already among the highest in the region. By paying more money to UC Health, the premiums for members will also increase, as a result.

On Friday, UC Health officials announced details of the latest offer to Anthem, stating:

We take our responsibilities to our patients seriously. One such responsibility is advocating for sufficient reimbursement to ensure we'll continue to be able to deliver the highest-quality care. The services we offer the community are provided by highly trained professionals relying on state-of-the-art equipment to diagnose and treat complex diseases. And, as the region's only adult Level 1 trauma center, we maintain adequate capacity to serve people needing our services in an emergency. 

In recent negotiations, both UC Health and Anthem agreed on revised hospital rates.

However, UC Health says they need a modest cost-of-living increase for doctors' services, including pay for physicians, their training, maintaining practices and staff. They also argue that Anthem already pays UC Health doctors less than it pays doctors at Ohio State, Indiana University, the University of Kentucky and other academic medical centers in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

In response, Anthem issued this statement to FOX19:

Anthem and UC are still negotiating, and Anthem is always willing to talk. UC Health is already the most highly reimbursed system in the greater Cincinnati area. We have been very transparent with our offer and comparisons with other facilities and physicians. It is unfortunate that UC feels compelled to negotiate publicly, and as a result, upset their own patients in the process.

The two sides have a deadline of April 15th to come to terms on a new contract. If they cannot reach an agreement by the set date, Anthem members can still utilize UC Health facilities but could pay out-of-pocket costs, depending on individual benefit plans.

Anthem officials say they are prepared to help transition members to other providers, if needed.

In addition, patients undergoing treatment or pregnant women in their 2nd trimester may qualify for 'continuation of care', enabling them to continue at UC Health paying in-network rates. Members should contact Anthem directly to see if they qualify.

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