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Anthem and Premier Healthcare Face Wednesday Deadline


Photo: number657 (Flickr)

A copy of an Anthem insurance card.

If no agreement is reached by midnight Wednesday, IU employees may pay more for health services from Premier Healthcare. The tiff between Premier and insurance giant Anthem still has not been resolved.

Premier Healthcare officials complain Anthem has been lax in increasing the amount it reimburses physicians – not even keeping up with cost of living increases or average reimbursement costs.

The President of Premier’s Internal Medicine Associates division Wes Ratliff says Premier Healthcare contacted Anthem six months ago but negotiations still haven’t found common ground.

“They are falling behind national averages for what commercial insurers pay for services, and what we have asked for is to just bring that level of compensation up to a national average,” Ratliff says. “With declining reimbursement it makes it very difficult as we try to stay cutting edge.”

If there is no deal, IU Employees with doctors at IMA would have to pay more, because their current doctors would suddenly be out-of-network.

Anthem Spokesman Tony Felts says his company wants to tie reimbursement patients’ health outcomes.

“The ball is firmly in their court in terms of these negotiations,” Felts says, adding that Premier Healthcare’s proposal is not realistic and would drive up both healthcare and market costs at an unsustainable pace.

“When we started they proposed a 5 year contract that would result in a 14 percent increase over their current reimbursement and that’s simply not possible,” he says.

Felts says Anthem is also open to negotiating beyond this evening’s deadline.

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