This is a picture of the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield logo at the company's Wallingford headquarters
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield's Wallingford office Arielle Levin Becker / CT Mirror

Yale Medicine and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield reached a new contract agreement Wednesday, averting the possibility that the large New Haven medical practice would leave the network of the state’s largest insurer later this week.

The new contract runs through the end of 2019, according to Anthem.

The two sides agreed not to release terms of the agreement, but both described it as including provisions intended to reduce the cost of care while improving care coordination for patients.

A statement from Anthem described the deal as including “new approaches to managing cost and quality,” with more proactive management of Yale Medicine’s patients.

“This collaboration presents an excellent opportunity for Anthem and Yale Medicine to work together to improve patient health and outcomes while reducing the costs associated with avoidable admissions and services,” Anthem President Jill R. Hummel and Dr. Paul Taheri, Yale Medicine CEO, said in a statement. “When providers are given the tools and resources they need to focus on prevention, wellness and the coordination of care, and are rewarded when they improve health, it’s a recipe for success.”

Yale Medicine – formerly known as Yale Medical Group – includes more than 1,400 Yale School of Medicine clinical faculty physicians.

Before the deal was reached, Yale Medicine notified Anthem that it would terminate the contract if the two did not reach a deal by Oct. 7. If that had happened, Anthem members who received treatment from Yale Medicine providers would have had to pay higher out-of-network rates in most cases.

Contract disputes and termination notices have become increasingly common in negotiations between hospitals and insurance companies in recent years, although public disputes involving physician practices have been less common. Nearly all have been resolved before the deadline.

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Arielle Levin Becker covered health care for The Connecticut Mirror. She previously worked for The Hartford Courant, most recently as its health reporter, and has also covered small towns, courts and education in Connecticut and New Jersey. She was a finalist in 2009 for the prestigious Livingston Award for Young Journalists, a recipient of a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship and the third-place winner in 2013 for an in-depth piece on caregivers from the National Association of Health Journalists. She is a 2004 graduate of Yale University.

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