Aetna, Boston Children's Hospital plan to end contract

Hartford, Conn.-based Aetna and Boston Children's Hospital will end their contract Feb. 15 unless they can settle their dispute regarding payment rates, according to The Boston Globe.

In 2015, Boston Children's Hospital bought Hawthorne, N.Y.-based Children's and Women's Physicians of Westchester, a for-profit group. Rob Graham, a Children's Hospital spokesman, said the hospital now wants to "reduce the reimbursement gap" between the physicians in New York and other local physician groups by increasing reimbursement rates, according to the report.

However, Aetna believes the rate increases Children's is suggesting are too high. "They're insisting on substantial rate increases for [the physician groups in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut," Aetna spokesman Walt Cherniak said. "That is the basis of our disagreement. We cannot accept the increases that they're looking for."

Boston Children's Hospital experienced a similar problem in late 2014. Boston Medical Center HealthNet plan ended its contract with the hospital due to higher rate requests, according to The Boston Globe.

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