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Care New England and Koller reach an agreement

December 13, 2010

The lawsuit filed by the Care New England hospital chain (Women and Infants, Kent, and Butler hospitals) against Health Insurance Commissioner Chris Koller is half way over.

If you remember, the lawsuit was about two things-

1. CNE didn’t like the requirements Koller placed on contract negotiations between hospitals and health insurance plans,  particularly the rule that said private reimbursement rates could increase by no more than by how much Medicaid and Medicare increase their payments.

2. Koller canceled out some parts of CNE’s contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield and wrote up a report about the agreement.

The lawsuit comes as Care New England and United Health Care struggle over renewing their contract, which expires on December 31st.  Care New England claims Koller’s restrictions have made it difficult to negotiate a fair agreement.

According to Care New England, Chris Koller has agreed to drop his rules about contracts between health insurance plans and hospitals  IN THIS INSTANCE.  Presumably this is so Care New England can stop messing with its lawsuit and actually come to an agreement with United Health Care.

Care New England says the decision should help move the process along.

We are hopeful that this result will bring us closer to reaching an accord with United. Our first and foremost interest is assuring there will be no disruption or inconvenience to our patients in their coverage for services at our hospitals and VNA.   We ask United to now come back to the table with an eye toward settlement.  It is what the business and patient community wants and expects from both sides.

Care New England says it still plans to sue Koller over his investigation into its contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield.   It isn’t clear when the hospital chain will address that issue in court.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Fredric Silverblatt permalink
    December 16, 2010 3:02 pm

    Commissioner Koller’s efforts are to be applauded. Secret deals between the insurance companies and the major healthcare players, have led to paying Lifespan and its physicians for the same services as the community hospitals and their physicians. This contributes to increased medical costs and the undermining of the financial stability of the community hospitals. There is no evidence to suggest that quality, outcomes or SAFETY is any better at Lifespan or Care New England

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