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Premier Sees Less Patients After Anthem Negotiations Fail

Almost six weeks after a contract between Anthem and Premier Healthcare expired, there is still no compromise in sight. Some patients are now trying to determine their options.

Conney Freese-Posthuma has worked at Indiana University for a decade. She currently travels more than 130 miles round trip so her son can receive care for a rare condition. But because IU employs Anthem for its insurance and her existing doctors are in Premier Healthcare’s network, her out-of-pocket expenses have gone up.

"He sees a rheumatologist regularly, and an ophthalmologist, and a pulmonologist in addition to our regular doctor," she says. "So the pulmonologist and the family doctor are both with Premier so that’s where were having a little problem right now."

Premier Healthcare’s Service President Wes Ratliff says the company has seen fewer patients since its partnership with Anthem dissolved.

"It takes time to develop those relationships and having that relationship adds another level to the quality of care that you can deliver, not that another physician isn’t as equally skilled as I am," he says. "They just would not have that relationship and ultimately without knowing the patient, I think at the end of the day it could cost them more money to see another provider."

Ratliff says the company realizes the inconvenience for patients, but officials remain hopeful a new agreement with Anthem can be hatched.

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