Centene threatens to terminate contract with Tenet, potentially impacting 3 million patients

Update: Tenet spokesperson Rob Dyer confirmed to Becker's that Centene and Tenet Healthcare signed an in-network contract for Sept. 30, 2022 through Dec. 31, 2026.

Centene has issued a notice of termination for its contract with Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare beginning next year over reimbursement rates, a move that would impact 3 million members nationwide, the Phoenix Business Journal reported Aug. 30.

The contract is set to expire Dec. 31 and is with 19 Tenet-owned health systems, which includes 60 hospitals across Texas, California, Florida, Michigan and Arizona, a Tenet spokesperson told Becker's.

In Arizona specifically, the contract is with Abrazo Health hospitals in Phoenix and hospitals within the Carondelet Health Network in Tucson. If the contract expires, 400,000 Centene Medicaid members in Arizona alone would be affected.

"They are asking for excessive rate cuts during a time period when costs are going up," William Ellert, MD, chief medical officer at Abrazo Health, told the Business Journal. "There is a good chance we won't have a contract with them anymore."

A spokesperson for Arizona Complete Health, a Centene Medicaid managed care subsidiary, told the Business Journal the company intends to strike a new contract with Tenet in 2023. 

"We are in active negotiations with Tenet with the goal of extending our partnership," the spokesperson said. "As a part of these important partner negotiations, we remain focused on ensuring access to quality care for our members in Arizona while maintaining discipline around the cost of healthcare services."



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