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UC Health offers Anthem proposal to maintain services

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CINCINNATI - UC Health announced Friday that it has offered Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Ohio a proposal for what it calls a "fair, reasonable contract."

If Anthem accepts the offer, both organizations will keep UC Health in-network.

It was announced last week that thousands of UC Health patients and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield customers may soon see changes to their health care plans.

UC Health officials recently sent out a letter to patients stating Anthem may drop UC Health as part of its network of providers.

At issue is how much Anthem will reimburse UC Health for patients' medical care.

Both sides are blaming each other for the impasse.

Anthem says UC Health chose to terminate its contract and demanded higher reimbursement fees, which means customers will be charged more.

UC Health claims it didn't choose to terminate the contract. Officials with the health group say they wrote to Anthem last fall to express their intent to remain in Anthem's networks and requested a cost-of-living increase.

UC Health says it needs the increase for doctors' services, which include pay for physicians, their training, the practices they maintain and the staff they employ to care for patients. It says it seeks to be paid comparably to medical personnel working at other academic medical centers in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

If no deal is reached, officials say Anthem customers would have to pay out of pocket for UC doctors and facilities.

Among the thousands of patients caught in the middle is brain cancer patient Katie Rupert.

Both organizations have agreed to the revised hospital rates UC Health proposed during recent negotiations, according to a press release from UC Health.

The deadline for UC Health and Anthem to reach an agreement is April 15.

Anthem told 9 On Your Side that exceptions will be made for continuation of coverage for people already in treatment.

Anthem says the dispute affects about 14,000 of its members.

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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