Anthem, Hartford HealthCare agree on new, retroactive contract

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Hartford Hospital

Hartford HealthCare and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield said early Saturday they had reached agreement on a new contract, ending a stalemate that had left Hartford HealthCare providers out of the Anthem insurance network since Oct. 1.

The two sides said the agreement is retroactive so that all Anthem customers who received treatment from Hartford HealthCare providers will be covered at in-network rates as though there had been no disruption.

The unusually long stalemate caused major problems for patients, and drew increasing pressure from officials, employers, labor and patient advocates as it wore on.

Hartford HealthCare is the parent company of Hartford Hospital, and its network includes Backus Hospital in Norwich, Midstate Medical Center in Meriden, the Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain and Southington, Windham Hospital in Willimantic and Natchaug Hospital in Mansfield as well as Hartford HealthCare Medical Group and some substance abuse centers and assisted living facilities.

“Anthem recognizes the disruption caused by the negotiations and the significant impact it had on HHC patients and Anthem members, said Jill R. Hummel, president of Anthem. “We are happy that the end result is a fair agreement with sustainable increases and additional incentives that reward HHC hospitals for improvement in patient safety. We look forward to working closely with HHC to minimize any further disruption and ensure quality affordable healthcare for our members.”

Jeffrey Flaks, Hartford HealthCare’s president and chief operating officer, said, “We deeply understand and regret the inconvenience and disruption that being out of network has caused our patients and communities.”

“Connecticut residents deserve access to healthcare that is second to none,” Flaks said. “Our fair agreement with Anthem helps ensure that will be the case, and that we can continue to offer the highest quality, comprehensive, coordinated care to more people — now and in the future.”

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy welcomed the agreement. “This agreement provides consumers with peace of mind that they deserve,” he said in a statement Saturday. “When it comes to negotiations such as this, the best interest of the consumers must take priority. That means that the terms of the agreement need to ensure that the people they serve have access to quality and affordable healthcare, and we hope that this is what this agreement will deliver.”

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