Kentucky health system to reduce million-dollar 'shock claims' up to 45% under Anthem deal

St. Elizabeth Healthcare, a five-hospital system in Edgewood, Ky., is voluntarily participating in a new effort launched by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield to lower unexpected, sometimes million-dollar medical bills.

Under the agreement, announced to Becker's in an emailed statement Aug. 13, St. Elizabeth will cut charges for these "shock claims" by as much as 45 percent. Shock claims can include treatment for neonatal intensive care units, cancer treatments, heart centers, immunotherapy treatments and other expensive services. Claims for these treatments can total up to $6 million.

"Health events at this cost level can have a devastating impact on employers because many have self-funded health plans and pay for individual healthcare claims directly," according to the organizations. "Even employers that don't pay directly can face drastically increased insurance premiums which can also impact costs for their employees."

Anthem unveiled the initiative in late May, and hopes all hospitals in Kentucky will join.

More articles on payers:
WellStar says Anthem Blue made false representations to customers
Senate leader calls Centene 'callous' after meeting with insurer's CEO
Kansas threatens termination of Aetna's Medicaid contract

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