Contract Between Anthem, Stanford Health Care Expires
On Monday, Stanford Health Care terminated its contract with Anthem Blue Cross after the two sides failed to reach an agreement on a new contract, the San Jose Mercury News reports (Seipel, San Jose Mercury News, 9/8).
Details of Contract Negotiations
The contract between Anthem and Stanford ended on Monday at 12:01 a.m. after the two organizations failed to reach a consensus during negotiations. Both organizations said they reached an agreement on rates for two years, but Stanford wanted a three-year contract.
About 10,000 Anthem members received care at Stanford within the last year, according to KQED's "State of Health."
Anthem in a statement said it had asked Stanford to "agree to a two-week extension of the terminated contract at existing rates" while negotiations continue. However, Stanford has not yet extended the contract.
Comments From Anthem, Stanford
In an email, Stanford spokesperson James Larkin said, "While our contract did expire last night, I want to reiterate that Stanford Health Care will continue to welcome Anthem members and honor Anthem's in-network co-payment amounts for all of our services and care."
However, Larkin did not clarify whether Stanford would pay for patients' care that would have been covered by Anthem, according to "State of Health."
However, Anthem spokesperson Darrel Ng said that patients could be responsible for paying rates that are much higher than negotiated rates that insurers pay. Ng said that Stanford might choose to charge lower prices but that in the case of a bill dispute, "patients would have to hire their own lawyers to advocate on their behalf" (Aliferis, "State of Health," KQED, 9/8).
CalPERS Criticizes Stanford
Meanwhile, CalPERS on Monday criticized Stanford for refusing to accept a two-year agreement with Anthem.
Ann Boynton, deputy executive director for benefit program policy and planning at CalPERS, in a statement said the pension fund is "deeply disappointed with Stanford Hospital's refusal to agree to reasonable terms."
Boynton advised CalPERS members to "identify alternatives to Stanford for care" (Rauber, "Bay Area BizTalk," San Francisco Business Times, 9/8).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.