Most Dignity Health providers could be out of network with Cigna in 2020

A contract dispute between San Francisco-based Dignity Health and Cigna could result in most Dignity providers being out of network with the health insurer beginning in 2020, according to the Record Searchlight.

Most services would be affected if negotiations fall through, except for some services under Cigna's LocalPlus plan. That plan includes California hospitals in El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Santa Cruz, Sutter and Yolo counties.

In a statement to the Record Searchlight, a Dignity spokesperson outlined one case where an exemption may occur: "If a Dignity Health doctor or hospital is the only one in the area that provides a specific service, the patient or the primary care physician will need to contact Cigna to determine if Cigna will authorize the patient to go to Dignity Health for the service. Depending on the benefit plan, Cigna may authorize the service without additional cost or may require the patient to use out-of-network benefits and reimburse accordingly."

Both healthcare companies blame each other for the stalled negotiations. Dignity said it has "been unable to reach acceptable terms" with Cigna, and will continue to negotiate with Cigna in hopes of reaching an agreement before Jan. 1, when members would be pushed out of network.

In a statement to the Record Searchlight, Cigna called Dignity "just wrong" for "refusing to negotiate rates that would keep healthcare affordable for Cigna customers." 

"The problem is price," a Cigna spokesperson said. "Dignity thinks that Cigna customers should pay substantially more than what is normal in the region, and we think that's just wrong."

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