St. Francis, Anthem extend talks again

November 8, 2008

For the second time this week, St. Francis hospital system and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield have opted to continue negotiating rather than end their contract.

A joint announcement by the parties last night said they had "made progress in negotiating a new multi-year contract and will continue their discussions until an agreement is reached."

The parties announced Monday that they expected an agreement to be reached by yesterday.

St. Francis had promised to cancel its contract at midnight on Sunday, Nov. 2. Anthem had been slow to pay claims and was unwilling to allow the hospital system terms similar to those given to other hospitals in the Indianapolis area.

Anthem had said St. Francis sought a 50-percent increase in reimbursement rates, which would have passed higher costs to Anthem customers.

The talks affect St. Francis hospitals in Beech Grove, Indianapolis and Mooresville, as well as eight other hospitals in Indiana. All those facilities are owned by Mishawaka-based Sisters of St. Francis Health Services Inc.

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