Maine Medical Center in Portland will stay in Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s care provider network for the next two years, the hospital and insurer announced Wednesday.
The agreement comes after the hospital announced in April that it was dropping Anthem customers from its in-network coverage starting Jan. 1, 2023.
The lifting of in-network coverage by Maine’s largest hospital would have affected the coverage of many Mainers including state employees who are insured through Anthem.
“MaineHealth has an unwavering focus on our patients and their families in order to deliver on our vision of working together so our communities are the healthiest in America,” Dr. Andy Mueller, CEO of MaineHealth said in a statement. “Our agreement with Anthem provides both of us with the opportunity to reaffirm our relationship as we work to improve the health and well-being of our communities.”
In April, MaineHealth officials said providing coverage through Anthem had become untenable, with a shortfall in payments causing concern about the hospital’s ability to continue to serve patients.
Meanwhile, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maine said in a statement that it had sustained a strong relationship with MaineHealth for several years. But it cited concerns with the provider during the last few years about “unilateral increases” in charges at Maine Medical Center.
That resulted in higher costs for patients using Anthem as well as other health insurers, Stephanie DuBois, a regional spokesperson for the insurer, said in a statement.
In May, Fore River Urology, an independent medical practice in Portland, announced that it would also no longer be an in-network provider as of Aug. 1 for patients with commercial Anthem plans and as of Sept. 1 for patients with Anthem Medicare Advantage coverage.