Philadelphia, PA — October 1, 2017 — Statement from Anthony V. Coletta, M.D., MBA, president, Independence Blue Cross Facilitated Health Networks.
“At Independence Blue Cross our priority is making sure our members and customers have access to quality care and affordable health care coverage. We value the relationships we have with our network providers and have demonstrated this commitment through effective partnerships and collaborations, most recently with the University of Pennsylvania Health System, Holy Redeemer, and Jefferson Health System.
On Friday, September 29, 2017, Reading Health System announced the completion of its acquisition of five regional Community Health Systems (CHS) hospitals — Brandywine, Jennersville, Pottstown, Phoenixville, and Chestnut Hill, effective today, October 1, 2017.
Independence had provider agreements with these five hospitals which were scheduled to expire next year. We had provided the new parent company, Reading Health System (Reading), with a fair and reasonable proposal to assume these contracts based on our careful consideration of various factors, including the potential long-term impacts to Independence customers.
Unfortunately, on Friday, September 29, Reading informed us that they did not accept our proposal so the five hospitals now owned by Reading are no longer in the Independence network.
While we are very disappointed with this outcome, our biggest concern right now is addressing the immediate needs of our members. That’s why we are launching a comprehensive outreach to members impacted by what’s happening via customer letters and a wide range of digital media, and text messaging.
Most importantly, we want to communicate the choices that members have for care at every other general acute care hospital in the southeastern Pennsylvania region which are all part of the Independence network.
- We are committed to providing coverage for our members at in-network levels at the five (former CHS/now Tower Health) hospitals, entities and physicians they employ, during at least the next 30 days.
- As always, emergency services at any hospital are covered under all plans.
We encourage our members with questions to call 1-888-580-9500 (open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.) or visit www.ibx.com/membersfirst. Our customer service team is ready to work closely with members to help them get the care they need, when they need it, and with as little disruption as possible.”