Anthem Blue Cross, LB Memorial reach contract resolution

Insurance company and hospital sign three-year agreement

After months of contract negotiations between Anthem Blue Cross and Long Beach Memorial Medical Center that abruptly ended two weeks ago with the insurance company discontinuing services at the hospital and removing it as an in-network provider, the two entities have reached an agreement.

On the same day the Signal Tribune published a story on the termination of services, representatives from the insurance company and the hospital released statements announcing the new contract.

“We are pleased to announce that MemorialCare has reached a definitive agreement with Anthem for our hospital contracts,” said Lori Weaver, executive director of Managed Care for MemorialCare Health System. “Effective retroactively to Aug. 15, 2017, MemorialCare hospitals continue to be in-network providers for all Anthem members, allowing our patients and community to continue to receive uninterrupted, exceptional care. We’re reassured that Anthem continues to recognize that MemorialCare is a vital medical resource to the community.”

Weaver added that MemorialCare will continue to offer its patient financial services concierge at (714) 377-6897 for patients, physicians and community members who may have concerns or questions.

Brian Ternan, president of Anthem Blue Cross, released a statement on Aug. 25 regarding the agreement his company reached with MemorialCare that day.

“Anthem Blue Cross is pleased to have reached a three-year agreement that will ensure our members have access to MemorialCare facilities,” Manning wrote. “We’re sorry for any inconvenience the termination of our previous contract may have caused our members, but today’s agreement will help ensure stability going forward. It’s important to our members that we achieve the appropriate balance between access and affordability, and we’ve done that with this new agreement.”

Seventieth District Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell, who last week criticized Anthem for its method of delivery and timing in notifying members, also released a statement on Aug. 25 praising the resolution.

“I applaud Anthem Blue Cross and Long Beach Memorial Medical Center for coming back to the table and reaching an agreement as quickly as they did,” O’Donnell wrote. “The news of the split was shocking and unnerving, and patients deserve to be able to count on reliable and accessible health care. I have been assured that patients can expect no disruption of services at this point, which should mean no out-of-network costs and no more confusion. This is the kind of efficient and effective resolution we can be proud of.”

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