Fishersville, Va.-based Augusta Health launched an online petition last week to gather support in its ongoing dispute against Anthem.
Augusta Health's change.org petition argues, "Anthem has admitted that they have paid Augusta Health at lower rates than other hospitals in the region for years. Now, we are being forced out of the Anthem network by their unwillingness to pay us fairly."
Augusta Health's in-network contract with Anthem expired Dec. 31. As a result, Anthem policyholders may pay out-of-network prices to access Augusta Health facilities. If a resolution is not reached by Jan. 31, Augusta Health physicians will also be considered out of network for Anthem members. Emergency care and Medicare patients are not affected by the contract dissolution.
As of Jan. 22, Augusta Health's petition had nearly 3,800 signatures. While the current goal is set at 5,000, Mark LaRosa, vice president of business development for Augusta Health, told WHSV 3 there isn't a specific number the hospital is seeking.
Mr. LaRosa said he hopes Anthem will "look at this as the community's concern, that they take this seriously. That they say 'okay,' that the community is very concerned about losing Augusta Health as an in network option."
Anthem did not immediately respond to Becker's Hospital Review's request for comment.
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