Augusta Health contract with Anthem set to end on Dec. 31
Augusta Health’s contract with Anthem BlueCross BlueShield (Anthem), which covers Anthem members for the care they receive through Augusta Health, expires on December 31 of this year.
For several months, Augusta Health has made repeated efforts to find common ground with Anthem. In order to make real progress toward a new agreement, Augusta Health needs Anthem to engage in meaningful discussions, and recognize the impact inadequate reimbursement has on healthcare in Augusta County.
Augusta Health notified Anthem, as it is contractually required to do, of its intent to end the current contract when it expires on December 31. If Anthem chooses to re-engage in meaningful discussions the two organizations have nearly three months to reach a new agreement.
For years, Anthem has paid Augusta Health and its employed physicians significantly less than other providers in the region. “Augusta Health proudly serves as one of the region’s lowest cost providers of care,” said Mary N. Mannix, CEO and President of Augusta Health. “But Anthem’s low payments are just not sustainable. We are looking to be reimbursed at rates in keeping with other providers in the region – nothing more, nothing less. We must fix our contract with fair, competitive rates from Anthem so we can secure our future and continue serving as our community’s trusted source for high quality care.”
As the region’s primary health system, Augusta Health plays a vital role in the health and wellbeing of local residents. If Augusta Health is not in Anthem’s network, residents will be forced to drive long distances to seek in-network care that should otherwise be accessible to them nearby.
Augusta Health has set up a web page to provide answers to Frequently Asked Questions and a contact email address and phone number for specific questions. Patients and members can visit this site at www.AugustaHealth.com/Anthem or call (540) 332-5444. Concerned Anthem members may also contact Anthem Member Services at the number on the back of their ID cards to express their opinion that Anthem should engage in meaningful discussions to keep Augusta Health in-network.
Between now and the end of the year when Augusta Health’s current contract expires, nothing changes for members insured with Anthem. Until then, they will continue to be covered when seeing their physicians or seeking treatment at Augusta Health’s facilities.
Augusta Health’s Emergency Department will always be open for everyone, regardless of its contract status. Individuals experiencing a medical emergency should seek treatment at the closest ED.
Augusta Health is an independent, community-owned, not-for-profit hospital whose mission is to promote the health and well-being of its community through access to excellent care. Named one of the 100 Top Hospitals in America by Thomson Reuters/Truven in both 2011 and 2012, Augusta Health has also been nationally recognized by Health Grades as one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals for clinical excellence and patient safety for three consecutive years. For more information about Augusta Health, its programs or its services, please visit the website, www.augustahealth.com.