Contract between Cigna, Mission Health in jeopardy

Patients may lose in-network access to Mission Health if their health insurer Cigna ends its relationship with the Asheville, N.C.-based hospital, according to local ABC affiliate 13 WLOS.

A contract between Cigna and Mission ends Oct. 31. If talks between the organizations stall, Cigna members will face higher out-of-pocket costs to access Mission Hospital and Mission Children's Hospital, also in Asheville.

In a statement to 13 WLOS, Mission Health said it is "actively in discussions with Cigna and hope[s] to reach a positive conclusion on a new agreement prior to that date. Cigna is a long-standing partner and our goal is to reach an agreement that allows us to continue to provide quality care to those patients who have come to depend upon us. Mission Health is committed to improving the lives and health of the people of Western North Carolina."

Cigna told the news station prices are a key sticking point in the negotiations: "Mission Health is refusing to negotiate rates that would keep healthcare affordable for Cigna customers. The problem is their price. We would very much like to keep Mission Memorial Hospital and Mission Children's Hospital in our network, but not at the excessively high rates they are demanding from our clients and customers."

More articles on payers:
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BCBS of North Carolina needs to rebuild trust. It won't be easy, analysts say
Aetna errors canceled Medicaid coverage for beneficiaries in Kansas

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