St. Francis buries hatchet with Cigna, Sagamore

St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers settled a contract dispute with Cigna HealthCare and its Sagamore Health Network last week, days before their old contract expired June 15. The new reimbursement contract will run through 2011.

Indianapolis’ fourth-largest hospital system made public its feud with the Philadelphia-based health insurer in early May.

The agreement allows Cigna and Sagamore customers to still receive negotiated price discounts at St. Francis’ three hospitals in Beech Grove, Indianapolis and Mooresville as well as the other 10 hospitals owned by Sisters of St. Francis Health Services Inc. Sisters of St. Francis is based in the northern Indiana city of Mishawaka.

The contract dispute was ironic because Cigna threatened to kick the St. Francis hospital chain out of the Sagamore provider network, the very managed care network Cigna bought last year from St. Francis and other hospital groups.

St. Francis’ chief contract negotiator is Greg Yust, who was CEO of Sagamore Health Network until January. He joined St. Francis in March.

Sagamore Health Network negotiates discounted reimbursement rates with doctors, hospitals and other medical centers. It then sells access to that network of provider discounts to employers or health insurers.

Until 2007, St. Francis owned part of Sagamore, along with co-owners St. Vincent Health in Indianapolis, St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in South Bend and St. Mary’s Health System in Evansville.

The new contract agreement includes Franciscan Physicians Hospital in Munster, which is being added to the Cigna and Sagamore networks.

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