Injured Patients May Suffer Due to Bickering Between Norfolk Hospital and Insurance Company

There appears to be an impasse over reimbursement rates between Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters in Norfolk, Virginia (VA), and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. If the disagreement does not get resolved before June 1, 2011 thousands of patients already struggling financially could pay more for their health care costs.

The dispute revolves around a double-digit reimbursement rate request by the hospital. Anthem has countered with a single-digit rate increase. Neither side appears ready to budge.  

Both sides need to swallow some pride and compromise. The bickering back and forth about rate increases misses the important fact that many hardworking Virginians will be forced to pay more out of their pocket for medical care.

In 2010, about 20 percent of the hospital's in-patients were paid for by Anthem, the most of any commercial insurer at the hospital, according to the Virginian-Pilot. In addition, Anthem's commercial plans have about 110,000 members in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and the rest of Hampton Roads.

This means that thousands of patients who may have suffered a serious injury in an accident will be forced to pay a lot more for medical care, even though they may not have the funds necessary to cover a sudden, unexpected medical bill. These are patients who have already suffered a great deal and should not be worried about how much they'll be forced to pay out of pocket while recuperating from their injury.

Both sides need to return to the negotiating table and hammer out a deal. It is the right thing for to do for patients.


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