431-bed Trinity Health hospital latest to challenge Aetna contract

Syracuse, N.Y.-based St. Joseph's Health, a 431-bed, Trinity Health-owned hospital, is the latest in the network to alert patients of a looming contract termination deadline. 

The contract, which is set to expire at the end of the year, could affect 15,000 patients, according to syracuse.com

An Aetna spokesperson told Becker's that Trinity Health has issued contract termination notices with Aetna in a handful of markets, with St. Joseph's being the newest battleground. 

"It's not unusual for a health plan or a provider to issue a termination notice while they are negotiating, in case the parties are unable to reach an agreement," the spokesperson told Becker's. "We will continue to offer our members in-network access to St. Joseph's Health through Dec. 31. We will maintain close communications with our members and customers throughout the negotiation process."

A St. Joseph's Health spokesperson says that as of right now, nothing has changed for patients. The system is doing it's part to negotiate a new contract for 2022.

"Our goal is for Aetna to join us in our commitment to improve the way our two organizations work together for the best interest of our shared patients and members," a St. Joseph's Health spokesperson told Becker's. "And this includes a reasonable contract that more appropriately covers the cost of care and services St. Joseph's Health provides. We are dedicated to continuing to work in good faith with Aetna to reach an agreement that allows SJH to remain in their network in 2022 and beyond."

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