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January 12, 2024

Trinity Health Of NE, Anthem reach agreement extending in-network coverage

HBJ FILE PHOTO St. Francis Hospital is part of Trinity Health Of New England.

A Hartford-based healthcare system and a Wallingford-based health insurer have reached a multiyear provider network agreement, which allows members of the insurance company to continue receiving in-network services.

Trinity Health Of New England and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut announced Thursday that the agreement “secures long-term access to affordable health
care for Trinity Health patients covered by Anthem health plans.”

Terms of the deal weren’t made public.

Trinity’s network includes St. Francis Hospital, St. Mary's Hospital, Johnson Memorial Hospital and Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital.

Recently, Trinity said its negotiations with health insurers have gotten more contentious, as healthcare organizations face rising costs and health insurers face pressure to rein in premium increases.

In November, Trinity said it was negotiating an agreement with Bloomfield-based health insurer Cigna that “more adequately covers the care we provide to our patients in Connecticut with Cigna commercial health plans.”

Cigna’s contract with St. Francis Hospital, Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital and Trinity Health Of New England Medical Group providers in Connecticut expired Jan. 1.

In a statement, Trinity said those providers have been forced out of Cigna's commercial health plans. Saint Mary’s Hospital and Johnson Memorial Hospital will remain in-network through April 30.

"Cigna has not recognized that we rely on fair reimbursement from health plans to deliver high quality care our community deserved," the statement says. "Unfortunately, despite reporting consistent revenue growth and billion-dollar profits, Cigna has not offered a contract that puts patients' health over their own profits and has instead chosen to disrupt their members' care."

Trinity said it will continue to urge Cigna to negotiate to re-instate patient access to its services.

As part of the agreement between Trinity and Anthem, the organizations will collaborate on data connectivity and value-based care models, according to the announcement. Those initiatives are meant to improve health outcomes and better control costs for Trinity patients covered by Anthem health plans.

“We are pleased that an agreement with Anthem could be reached without disruption to patient care,” said Montez Carter, Trinity’s president and CEO. “Trinity Health Of New England looks forward to our continued partnership with Anthem in serving our communities with the high-quality care people need and trust.”

The value-based care model aims to align payment with improved health outcomes and reduced cost trends.

Lou Gianquinto, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut, said that aligning payments with health outcomes instead of on the volume of care provided is a “win-win for employers and consumers in our state.”

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