CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield CEO Chet Burrell said in his 10 years at the insurer, no care provider has ever responded to fee negotiation disputes by threatening to terminate a contract until Anne Arundel Medical Center.
AAMC announced Monday that it may end its contract with the region's largest health insurer this year due to "unsustainable" reductions in reimbursements the hospital and associated physician and imaging practices would receive from the insurance carrier for medical services.
"Our priority is to continue to provide quality health care for people in this region. We want to keep costs low for our patients," said AAMC CEO Victoria Bayless. "But reimbursement rates need to be reasonable."
Burrell said CareFirst has had contracts with Anne Arundel Health System for about 60 years. And while it is common in contract negotiations for insurer and providers to disagree on fees, it is "extremely unusual," for any provider to announce potential termination like this, he said, and "nothing like this has ever happened." There is no other major hospital network or physician group in the region with which CareFirst does not have a contract.