Well, consumers can breathe a sigh of relief today—Anthem and Hartford HealthCare (HHC) are friends again. Anthem and HHC have reached an agreement and HHC’s hospitals are back in-network, retroactive to October 1, 2014. The two entities came to an agreement late on Thursday, October 2, 2014. This is a quick resolution, and fortunate for consumers, who can now go back to focusing on their own health.
Both Anthem and HHC stated that this new multi-year contract will, in theory, reduce costs and improve patient health outcomes through an emphasis on patient-centered care and payment more tied to quality. We certainly hope that consumers will be better served by this new contract and they will, in fact, receive care that focuses on them. We also hope that this frustrating situation doesn’t happen again and that consumers are not faced with the decision to change providers or pay higher out-of-network costs. Both Anthem and HHC are simply too big to put so many consumers on the line.
How can consumers ensure that they don’t get caught in the middle again? How can the consumer voice be heard? Universal Health Care Foundation is holding a forum on the morning of Tuesday, October 21 that will address these and other questions about how to make sure consumers have a say. The forum, Empowering Consumers: Strengthening Our Voice to Transform Health Care will be held from 9am to noon at Quinnipiac University’s North Haven campus. Registration is free. To learn more, go here.
For more on the Anthem/Hartford HealthCare agreement:
See Hartford HealthCare’s statement here.
See Anthem’s statement here.
Hartford Courant: Anthem, Hartford HealthCare Hammer Out Deal
CT Mirror: Anthem, Hartford HealthCare reach a deal
CT News Junkie: Insurer and Hospital Group Reach Agreement