Anthem, Hartford Healthcare reach a deal ending contract dispute

Anthem, Hartford Healthcare reach a deal ending contract dispute

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Hartford Healthcare and Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield reached a three-year agreement according to a Saturday release, ending a contract dispute that started last month.

Health care advocates called this week for state action to force mediation between the two companies.

The dispute left Anthem customers in a broad swath of eastern Connecticut unable to get covered care at regional hospitals, Backus in Norwich, Windham in Willimantic and Natchaug in Mansfield, and urgent care- center networks now affiliated with Hartford HealthCare, the parent of Hartford Hospital.

In the release from Hartford Healthcare, the company’s President and Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Flaks said he understood and regretted the inconvenience and disruption for patients over the past month and a half.

“Everything we do is aimed at creating more access to exceptional services. I speak for all my colleagues at Hartford HealthCare in thanking our patients for their understanding during this difficult time,” Flaks said.

With the recent agreement, patients with Anthem insurance have restored in-network access to Hartford Healthcare services. According to the release, the agreement is retroactive to Oct. 1 and patients will pay in-network rates for services over the past month and a half.

Earlier this week, Anthem agreed to non-binding arbitration while Hartford Healthcare had not. Anthem also offered to reinstate the terms of the previous agreement while negotiations took place.

Other members of Hartford Health-Care include Midstate Medical Center in Meriden and the Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain which includes the Southington Bradley campus. An affiliation with Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington, which serves a population of 100,000 in northwestern Connecticut, was approved Thursday by the state Office of Health Care Access.

Charlotte Hungerford has its own contracts with Anthem and other insurers and wasn’t affected d by the dispute with Hartford HealthCare.

Twitter: @JBuchananRJ

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