Premier Healthcare, Anthem Reach Agreement After Five Months

The two companies refused to disclose any details of the agreement, but an Indiana University spokesman says it is unlikely to be the last dispute of its kind.

anthem

Photo: number657 (Flickr)

A copy of an anthem insurance card.

Health insurance giant Anthem has agreed to terms with a Bloomington provider, Premier Healthcare, following a five-month dispute. 

The deal’s specifics are shrouded in secrecy because of confidentiality agreements between the two companies, but Anthem released a statement saying the contract takes effect immediately and asserting the company wanted to control the rising cost of health care. The statement does not, however, specify whether costs to either providers or patients will go up as a result of the new deal.

Anthem officials did not return a phone call seeking an interview Thursday. 

Indiana University spokesman Mark Land says he had heard concerns from IU employees but the school largely tried to stay out of the spat between the two companies. Land says IU human resources officials are glad to have the relationship patched for the moment, but adds it is unlikely to be the last such disagreement.

“These things aren’t unheard of,” Land says. “This year it happened to be Premier and Anthem. It’s been other providers and insurance companies in the past.  The nature of that relationship – the provider, insurance company relationship – is always somewhat contentions. So who’s to say. I doubt that this would be the last time we see something like this.”

Premier Healthcare President Wes Ratliff, reached by phone Thursday, also declined to offer any specifics of the agreement, including refusing to say whether Premier’s earlier demand to be released from Anthem’s standard provider contract was granted.

Stan Jastrzebski

WFIU/WTIU News Senior Editor Stan Jastrzebski spent time as a reporter with WGN Radio in Chicago and as an editor at Network Indiana, an Indianapolis news service. Stan is the winner of awards from the Associated Press, the RTDNA, the Indiana Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. He hosts WFIU's Ask the Mayor and anchors WTIU's InFocus.

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