Cigna, Roper-employed physicians reach deal on stalled insurance contract
Roper St. Francis Physician Partners and insurer Cigna have a new agreement after months of contract negotiations that affected the cost of outpatient care for thousands.
The old contract expired in February when the parties reportedly could not agree on reimbursement rates for the physicians.
The situation affected 8,000 patients and involved 200 doctors, according to officials, who would not discuss details of the new deal because of confidentiality.
The new agreement means that services provided by the physicians, who work directly for Roper Saint Francis Healthcare, will be covered at the “in-network” benefit level, which for the vast majority of consumers is much less costly, said Amy Turkington, Cigna spokeswoman.
This new agreement means that Cigna customers will not have to pay extra to see their doctors and will not lose any benefits.
The new deal takes effect Aug. 15.
The negotiations did not affect hospital care, which is handled under a separate agreement.
This was not the first time that Cigna and Roper have battled over contracts. In the past, they eventually have managed to reach agreements following temporary contract extensions.
Charles Pitts, president and general manager for Cigna in the Carolinas, said he was pleased to renew the relationship with Roper St. Francis Healthcare, and to again offer customers “in-network” access to the 200 physicians.
“At Cigna, we work to provide our customers with access to a broad network of high-quality health care professionals while also balancing our clients’ and customers’ needs to manage costs. We believe we have achieved both goals under our agreement,” Pitts said.
David L. Dunlap, president and CEO of Roper, said in a statement: “Roper Saint Francis Physician Partners value their patients above all else and are grateful for the flexibility, loyalty and patience they demonstrated during this process in order to continue their relationships with the doctors they know and trust. “We look forward to continuing to serve the health care needs of Cigna customers in our community and to working with Cigna for many years to come,” he said.
Roper St. Francis Healthcare includes Roper Hospital, Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital, Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital and more than 90 facilities and doctors offices.