The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, July 28, 2020 1:00 am


Unhealthy standoff

Parkview, Anthem reach deadline with no deal

The threat of contracting the coronavirus is enough to make anyone nervous. For thousands of northeast Indiana residents, that anxiety is heightened by the possibility of losing their health-care provider or having to pay much more for hospital care. The existing contract between Parkview Health and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield expires today.

Parkview spokeswoman Tami Brigle said Monday the deadline has not been extended.

Negotiations dragging on for months have not served anyone well, particularly the 250,000 area residents affected.

“Like many Anthem subscribers, I am going to be losing my entire cadre of doctors because Anthem and Parkview are too stubborn to come to an agreement,” said Michael Shaffer, a Fort Wayne resident. “Like many others in this same boat, I am frustrated that while I pay a significant part of my salary every year to have good insurance, my hands are completely tied because of the inability of these groups to come to terms.”

In an email statement, Brigle said negotiations continue.

“We have continued to work toward apatient-centered solution and have presented Anthem with multiple options that will lower costs not only for patients, but also for employers,” she wrote.

“Our most recent proposal was submitted on Friday, July 24. Knowing the majority of Anthem patients in the region prefer Parkview hospitals and physicians, we want to ensure continued access to our high-quality care and are hopeful an agreement can be reached before the deadline.”

Shaffer, an educator, offers a challenge to Parkview and Anthem that all those affected surely endorse: “Get your heads together and get off whatever high horses you are riding on and settle this thing!”

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