Anthem Blue Cross, Mary Washington Healthcare could split March 1

Anthem Blue Cross could go out of network with Fredericksburg, Va.-based Mary Washington Healthcare if the two sides can't agree on a new contract by March 1, The Free Lance-Star reported Jan. 7. 

Mary Washington Healthcare operates two hospitals and over 50 other facilities, according to its website. The Free Lance-Star reported the system employs more than 500 providers. 

Anthem Blue Cross and Mary Washington Healthcare did not tell The Free Lance-Star how many patients would be affected by a split. 

In a statement on its website, Anthem Blue Cross said Mary Washington requested rate increases at more than three times the rate of inflation. 

"Businesses and families across Virginia are already impacted by high inflation, which is why we cannot concede to requests for drastic cost increases," the payer said. 

In its statement, Mary Washington said the dispute is an issue of "fairness." 

"Anthem is paying the healthcare facilities and doctors in our region 24 percent less than their average payment rates," the health system said. "We are only asking Anthem to pay facilities and physicians in the Fredericksburg region fairly for the care provided." 

Both sides said they are continuing to work to reach an agreement. 

See the full list of affected plans, hospitals and clinics here.

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