Virginia health system, Cigna at contract impasse

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With the coverage of 15,000 people in the balance, Virginia's Mary Washington Healthcare and Cigna have yet to reach agreement on a contract that expires May 30, according to The Free Lance-Star

A sticking point is the payer's proposal to cut hospital services payments by 30 percent. Negotiations began last fall.

"We would very much like to keep Mary Washingon in our network, but not with the high rates and increases they are demanding from our clients and customers," Cigna communications senior adviser Holly Fusselltold the publication.

Mary Washington Vice President Eric Fletcher told the publication, "We're not asking for huge increases, but we just can't sustain decreases. We've all been put through the wringer over the last year and absorbed a lot of costs due to the pandemic. It's just a horrible time."

Cigna offered to extend the contract another year to allow more time to negotiate terms, but the health system refused the offer, according to Ms. Fussell.

"Every proposal Cigna brings back is worse than the last one," Mr. Fletcher said.

The Mary Washington system includes two hospitals, a third emergency room at an outpatient facility, more than 40 outpatient facilities and more than 500 physicians in the Fredericksburg area, according to the article.

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