In its latest announcement which came as a big blow to thousands of Metropolitan Nashville employees, Cigna Healthcare said that after Sept. 30 it might drop HCA Healthcare as an in-network provider on its insurance plans. Headquartered in Bloomfield, Connecticut, Cigna Healthcare is Metro Government’s health insurance carrier. On the other hand, HCA is the largest hospital company in the country with over 180 hospitals under its network. Also, there are six HCA TriStar facilities in Middle Tennessee alone.
Also, Tennessee and Kentucky hospitals may not continue to be participating providers in Cigna Healthcare after the stipulated date. It further says that unless and until a compromise can be made by Sept. 30, 2023, their facilities will cease to be part of Cigna Healthcare.
In their statement, the Nashville, Tennessee-headquartered company has made it very clear that Cigna Healthcare members may either not be covered for non-emergency medical services at HCA facilities, or they may be required to pay higher out-of-network costs for those services.
According to Cigna, significant rate increases are brought-up by HCA, when comparing to that of other health care providers. The statement issued by the company says that they want to keep healthcare affordable for their clients and customers. Especially in a scenario where they are facing rising prices due to inflation. Cigna has been negotiating in good faith with TriStar Health for months to try and reach a reasonable, affordable contract similar to that of other providers.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper, while commenting on the latest development said that the city was taken by surprise on hearing the news that Cigna Healthcare may drop HCA Healthcare owing to a contract dispute. Meanwhile, John said that he got in touch with both companies strongly urging them to resolve the contract differences. He also requested both parties to keep him updated about the progress of the matter. So that the employees, teachers, and residents in the area no longer have to be concerned about a disruption to their healthcare. The Mayor went on to say that the two companies must come to a resolution. As per the statement released by his office, failure to reach an agreement will impact tens of thousands of city employees, city retirees, teachers, and others who work with the government across Tennessee.
As per the information collected by state officials, the following hospitals are expected to leave the Cigna Open Access Plus Network starting October 1, 2023, unless they reach a contract agreement.
- Parkridge Medical Center, Inc. – Chattanooga
- Parkridge East Hospital – Chattanooga
- Parkridge West Hospital – Jasper
- TriStar Centennial Medical Center – Nashville
- TriStar Skyline Medical Center – Nashville
- TriStar Southern Hills Medical Center – Nashville
- TriStar Ashland City Medical Center – Ashland City
- Tristar Horizon Medical Center – Dickson
- TriStar Hendersonville Medical Center – Hendersonville
- TriStar Summit Medical Center – Hermitage
- Tristar Stonecrest Medical Center – Smyrna
- TriStar NorthCrest Medical Center – Springfield
The HCA officials were not available for an immediate response, on the ‘frequently asked questions’ section of the company website. Though an answer says that they want to continue their relationship with Cigna Healthcare.
Even if the two companies decide to discontinue their tie-up, emergency medical care would still be considered in-network. To add on, if the patient is at least 24 weeks pregnant as of Sept. 30, Labor and delivery care will still be considered in-network. It is also notified that the exception is not applicable for urgent care or other non-hospital facilities like imaging centers.
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