Anthem president to Hartford HealthCare CEO: It's time for compromise

The president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Connecticut sent an email to the CEO of Hartford (Conn.) HealthCare requesting a new contract, according to a Hartford Courant report.

The email follows a story published by Hartford Courant detailing how chronically ill Anthem members are postponing surgeries and rationing medication and physician visits due to the companies' break. Hartford HealthCare left Anthem's provider network after the organizations failed to negotiate a new contract by a Sept. 30 deadline. The break meant as many as 60,000 Anthem members lost in-network access to Hartford HealthCare's facilities and face higher out-of-pocket costs.

In her email, Jill Rubin Hummel, president and general manager of Anthem, asked two Hartford HealthCare executives — CEO Elliot Joseph and President and COO Jeffrey Flaks — for compromise.

"I am sure you read the article in today's Hartford Courant," Ms. Hummel wrote. "As the story vividly illustrates, real people are being significantly and adversely impacted by HHC's unwillingness to allow patients to continue receiving in-network care while negotiations for a new agreement with Anthem are ongoing. It is beyond time for HHC to stop disrupting patient care while our discussions continue — and for both parties to compromise and to reach a new agreement so that Anthem members can rest easy knowing that they will be able to continue to receive care from HHC hospitals and affiliated providers on an in-network basis without disruption."

In response, Hartford HealthCare spokesperson Shawn Mawhiney told the Hartford Courant the system "remains fully committed to reaching a fair agreement with Anthem. We understand the great difficulty this situation creates, and we want Anthem to work with us to achieve a resolution and restore long-term in-network access for our patients."

Ms. Hummel wrote in her email Anthem extended a new offer to Hartford HealthCare Nov. 3 and would send recommendations for a neutral mediator to the system Monday.

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