BY: DAVID SHEPHERD, NEWS DIRECTOR / E-MEDIA MANAGING EDITOR
JASPER -- There are new developments today in negotiations that continue between Memorial Hospital and insurance-giant Anthem.
The hospital released a statement Wednesday calling negotiations “on-going,” but adding both sides "remain far apart."
I asked Anthem for comment and they gave us this statement.....
"We continue to negotiate with Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center on a new contract that would keep them in Anthem’s provider network. A national study indicates that insurers currently reimburse MHHCC at a higher level than similar size hospitals in Indiana. But on top of these already high rates, MHHCC is requesting a 9% increase, or $5 million more per year.
Anthem is mindful about the rising cost of health care and the negative impact this has on our customers, who remain our number one priority as these talks continue."
Memorial Hospital fired back in the comment section of our WITZ Facebook Page. Officials there said, "Anthem recently stated they typically provide hospitals with a 3% increase annually.
Memorial Hospital has NOT received this type of increase in the last 20 years. If Anthem had paid MHHCC 3% annually, Memorial Hospital would not be in this situation.
We cannot speak to why Anthem has increased rates for their planned members over the past 20 years. Clearly, the increases have not been paid to your local hospital facility.”
The current contract expires November 27th.
Memorial hospital has established a resource center to support patients with Anthem insurance plans.
The free service will allow staff to work one-on-one with patients to evaluate solutions including payment plans and financial assistance.
Anthem has also launched a website to answer any questions patients may have...... www.anthem.com/memorialhospital
You can read Memorial Hospital's original update below.....
Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center continues to engage Anthem in contract negotiations. While Anthem provided Memorial Hospital with a proposal as recent as Monday, it is acknowledged that both sides remain far apart. Two face-to-face meetings are scheduled over the next 10 days. Memorial Hospital is hopeful that Anthem will bring a proposal that they can respond to.
Memorial Hospital has established the Memorial Health Resource Center to support patients with Anthem insurance plans. Memorial staff will provide this free service and work one-on-one with patients to evaluate their unique health care needs and situations, payment plans, and financial assistance options. Staff will be able to assist patients with chronic conditions, currently in a course of treatment, in the second or third trimester of pregnancy, or who are terminally ill by completing and submitting continuation of care forms to Anthem.
The paperwork and forms to be completed vary by patient situation, so patients are encouraged to contact the Memorial Health Resource Center to discuss their specific circumstances. To schedule an appointment, call 812-996-6399."