MedStar tightens insurer network, limiting Medicaid patient choices

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MedStar's network of Washington D.C.-area hospitals are cutting ties with two insurance plans, leaving about 165,000 Medicaid beneficiaries without access to local providers.

The company is ending contracts with CareFirst and AmeriHealth, who cover local Medicaid patients through government contracts secured last year. 

MedStar has been sparring with local government since its insurance arm, MedStar Family Choice, lost a significant government Medicaid contract in 2021 due to a judge-ruled procurement law violation, according to The Washington Post on Aug. 23. 

An Aug. 20 email from Deputy Mayor Wayne Turnage said MedStar is poised to end contracts this fall. Only Washington Hospital Center and Georgetown University Hospital would allow emergency room visits, with the rest of the network unavailable for the 165,000 affected residents.

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