Anthem Blue Cross, Dignity Health End Dispute, Ink Multi-Year Contract
Tribune (San Luis Obispo, CA)
Thousands of San Luis Obispo County residents will retain access to their current doctors, after Anthem Blue Cross and Dignity Health announced they have reached a new contract agreement Monday.
The health insurance provider and healthcare system had severed ties for slightly more than a month due to a contract dispute over pricing.
That decision left thousands of San Luis Obispo County Anthem customers scrambling to figure out where they would receive care.
On Monday, Anthem Blue Cross confirmed it has reached a new multi-year agreement to keep Dignity hospitals within its network.
"We are pleased to continue working with Dignity," John Pickett, Anthem Blue Cross regional vice president of provider solutions, said in a news release. "While we understand this wasn't easy for consumers, it was necessary for us to stand firm as part of our efforts to help slow the sharp rise in health care costs."
Dignity Health hospitals include Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo and Arroyo Grande Community Hospital.
Anthem previously said Dignity's rates were some of the highest in California, and that a proposed rate increase in a new contract between the two organizations would negatively impact customers. Dignity contended that the rate increases proposed were less than inflation.
"We value our relationships with providers, which are important to creating choices for our consumers and fulfilling our mission of improving lives and communities," Pickett said in the release. "Our members remained our No. 1 priority as we worked hard and in good faith to find common ground and reach an agreement with Dignity that helps protect affordability.
The agreement is retroactive to July 15 and will remain in place through April 30, 2025, according to the news release.
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