3 Bon Secours hospitals out of Anthem's network after talks fail

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Bon Secours Mercy Health and Anthem Health Plans of Virginia could not reach a new agreement that would have kept three of the Cincinnati-based health system's hospitals in Anthem's network.

Effective Dec. 1, three Bon Secours hospitals in Virginia — Southern Virginia Medical Center in Emporia, Southside Medical Center in Petersburg, and Southampton Medical Center in Franklin — are no longer considered in-network for Anthem's commercial and government plans.

Bon Secours said the negotiations concerned just the hospitals, not the Bon Secours Medical Group.

"We have worked diligently to reach an agreement with Anthem so we can continue to provide high quality care for you and protect in-network access to the providers you trust. However, Anthem did not make any aggregate movement in proposed reimbursement rates over the entirety of this negotiation. As a result, the contracts for these three hospitals are now terminated," the system said.

Anthem framed the situation differently.

The health insurer said that after purchasing the three hospitals affected by the contract lapse, Bon Secours Mercy Health "told Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield it wanted to increase healthcare costs at these facilities. Anthem negotiated with BSMH for the last several months to limit these price increases. Unfortunately, during a pandemic, BSMH told us to remove these three hospitals from our plans' networks on Dec 1. If we were to agree to the rates BSMH requested, healthcare costs for the Petersburg and Southside Virginia areas would rise considerably."

Bon Secours agreed to buy the three hospitals in October 2019, from Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems.

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