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Tenet and Cigna reach multi-year contract agreement

Negotiations have been ongoing for close to a year over payment rates.

Susan Morse, Senior Editor

Tenet Healthcare Corporation and Cigna reached a new, multi-year agreement on January 1, the day beneficiaries would have lost in-network coverage.

The terms of the agreement were not released.

In a statement on Cigna's Save Our Healthcare site, the insurer said its commercial customers will have uninterrupted, in-network access to Tenet Healthcare facilities and affiliated providers.

Tenet said by statement that the new agreement provides Cigna members covered under its commercial health plans with uninterrupted in-network access to Tenet providers. In addition, all Tenet facilities remain in-network providers for Medicare beneficiaries that are insured by a Cigna-HealthSpring Medicare Advantage plan.

THE IMPACT

Tenet and Cigna had been unable to reach a contract agreement over 11 months of negotiations.

If they had not signed a new contract by the end of 2018, Cigna insured individuals would have lost in-network coverage to Tenet hospitals, clinics, surgery centers and other providers.

Without an agreement, patient out-of-network visits would have increased, along with the number of surprise bills.

The dispute was over payment rates, with Cigna reportedly saying that the two parties were unable to reach an agreement on what healthcare should cost at Tenet facilities.

THE TREND

A contract dispute between UnitedHealthcare and Envision was settled in December, ending a long-standing dispute over ER payment rates. Envision physicians would have been out-of-network for UnitedHealthcare plan participants as of January 1.

ON THE RECORD

Ron Rittenmeyer, Tenet's Executive Chairman and CEO said, "We are pleased to have reached a successful resolution with Cigna. We believe this is the right outcome for our patients, employees and communities, and we look forward to continuing to serve Cigna members around the country today and in years to come."

Cigna said, "Our goal throughout contract negotiations has been to keep healthcare affordable in local communities for our clients and customers and we are pleased with this outcome."

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
Email the writer: susan.morse@himssmedia.com

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