MOUNT VERNON — After more than a year of sporadic negotiations, Knox Community Hospital, on behalf of its hospital-employed physicians, and Anthem-Blue Cross Blue Shield announced Friday they have reached an agreement which means KCH remains in the Anthem network and the doctors are back in the Anthem network.
An estimated 3,600 county residents were adversely affected by the negotiations impasse which began in September 2011. Many consumers chose to go out of the area for health care, some changed insurance carriers and others stayed with local providers but paid out-of-network fees.
“I understand and appreciate the inconvenience that not being in network has caused for many of the employers and employees in our community,” said Bruce White, chief executive officer at Knox Community Hospital. “Our overarching interest is in providing accessible, quality care to all Knox County residents. We are elated to have our physicians once again in-network with Anthem.”
The newly-announced agreement, which goes into effect July 1, includes all Anthem products in which Knox Community Hospital currently participates, including major medical, preferred provider organization, consumer-directed plans, SmartSense (individual) and the Federal Employees Program. KCH’s urgent care center is now also in-network with Anthem.
“Anthem’s goal has always been affordability,” said Kim Ashley, public relations director, Anthem Blue Cross of Ohio. “We are pleased to be able to continue our relationship with the hospital, and to reach an agreement with the physicians that will provide access to affordable care to our members.”
In a press release, Jan Persinger, vice president of provider engagement and contracting for Anthem said, “We are very pleased to have KCH join us in meeting the region’s needs on a long-term basis. We will continue to work on behalf of the central Ohio community, and express our sincere appreciation to our many customers and members for their patience and understanding during this process.”
White was unavailable for further comment Friday, and Anthem does not make public the details of its contracts with providers.
The three-year contract is renewable.
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