After Stalemate, Anthem and Hartford HealthCare Reach Agreement

A stalemate between Anthem and Hartford HealthCare left Blue Cross Blue Shield patients out-of-network at five Connecticut hospitals, but just one day after the missed contract renewal deadline, the hospital group announced it had reached a “multi-year agreement” with the state’s largest health insurer.

As a result, Hartford HealthCare’s five hospitals will rejoin the Anthem network and patients will continue receiving uninterrupted coverage. The deal is retroactive to Oct. 1, so patients will not be affected by the impasse.

Both Hartford HealthCare and Anthem announced the failed negotiations on Wednesday and warned Blue Cross patients of higher costs at the Hospital of Central Connecticut’s New Britain campus, MidState Medical Center, William W. Backus Hospital, Windham Hospital and Hartford Hospital’s Institute of Living and the Jefferson House.

But now patients don’t need to worry. Instead of being denied coverage, they now have access to even more in-network providers than before.

“Under the new agreement, Hartford HealthCare and Anthem will broaden their existing accountable care arrangement, currently covering over 40,000 Anthem members, to include specialists and hospitals, creating a tighter integration across their network that will promote more proactive and coordinated management of their patients across the care continuum,” Hartford HealthCare officials said in a statement released Thursday night.

“In addition, Anthem and HHC will work jointly to expand the current model by implementing a chronic care program focused on the special needs of individuals with complex conditions. The goal of the model will be to provide a comprehensive approach to improve health, quality of life and lower overall health care costs for this population,” the statement continues.

Hartford HealthCare and Anthem are also considering ways to integrate behavioral health needs into primary care coverage.

The presidents of both companies said they are “pleased” by the agreement and pledge to continue providing high-quality care to thousands of patients around the state.

“Anthem would like to thank state, federal and municipal government officials, for encouraging the parties to stay at the table and continue negotiations. We also acknowledge our largest customer, the State of Connecticut, for strongly supporting the continued evolution of Anthem’s current value-based arrangement with HHC,” said Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield president Jill R. Hummel. “This ground breaking partnership will benefit our members through meaningful changes in how care is delivered in Connecticut.”

Gov. Dannel Malloy, Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman and Comptroller Kevin Lembo released a joint statement following the announcement commending Anthem and Hartford HealthCare for working together.

“The issue of providing good and decent healthcare is too important to let profit margins get in the way, and by working to reach an agreement, both Anthem and Hartford Healthcare have made it clear that wouldn’t allow that to happen,” Malloy said in the statement.

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