Officials: Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield may drop UC Health

UC patients may have to pay out of pocket

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

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 they didn't choose to terminate the contract, but rather they proposed a new one with reimbursement rates below what other academic medical centers receive that could threaten the quality of care they provide.

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

Rupert doesn't want to leave her current doctor and other health care providers, who she says have helped her tremendously.

"It just gives patients anxiety if they have to change doctors. They develop a relationship with their doctors. They tell them everything about their health and to have to tell that story it just goes deeper and deeper into your soul and it just makes fighting cancer hard," said Rupert, who is a three-time cancer survivor.

Rupert says if Anthem drops UC Health, she might have to leave her family to be treated in Texas.

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

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

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