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Providers Announce Support of Valley Health in Anthem of Virginia Negotiations

Providers Announce Support of Valley Health in Anthem of Virginia Negotiations

Dear Community Friends and Neighbors,

As members of the Valley Health Medical Staff, we thought it was vital to respond to the recent editorials concerning the contract negotiations between Valley Health System and Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield. While our primary focus is always providing the highest level of care to our patients in the community and surrounding areas, the members of the medical staff including physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners realize that in order to provide this high level of care we must have a sustainable medical center and system.

One of the most unique and solidifying aspects of the Valley Health community is that the vast majority of physicians and providers are active members of the community, with our children going to local schools, playing sports and loving being part of such a great place to live. For this reason, after being apprised of the current inequities of the Anthem and Valley Health contract and Anthem’s refusal to engage in meaningful negotiations, we can no longer sit idly by while Anthem grossly misrepresents their primary role in bringing this upon the members of the community and our patients.

Often people in other communities are forced to travel, sometimes several hours, to receive the care and treatments that their loved ones require. Valley Health, as a nonprofit organization, has always been committed to investing in the community by enhancing the services provided to patients and their families. Whether it be developing a state-of-the-art Cancer Center and Heart & Vascular Center, building a Women’s and Children’s Center with a Level III NICU, providing diagnostic services through five regional free medical clinics or spearheading the charge in the fight against addiction, Valley Health continues to support our community in countless ways.

Anthem is Valley Health’s largest non-governmental payer (second only to Medicare), but they are Valley Health’s lowest paying insurance company by a significant margin. For many services, they are reimbursing Valley Health as much as 25% less than other areas of the state. As many of our insurance premiums have continued to go up, Anthem, especially during the COVID pandemic, has made record profits that they are not passing on to health systems nor to their patients, but rather to their shareholders. While these may just seem like numbers, the downstream effects on our community are cumulative over time. Bringing in young, talented physicians, whether they be adept at a robotic surgery that provides better outcomes with quicker recovery or new oncology services that benefit our family members in their fight against cancer, requires a fair financial agreement with our largest insurer. Otherwise, our ability to grow the services provided to our community will be hindered and our community and patients alike will suffer. Therefore, we support our CEO, Mr. Nantz, and the Valley Health Board negotiating a fair contract agreement that allows us to deliver the care that our patients and community deserve.

Lastly, although the last seven months have been particularly trying, the Medical Staff could not be more proud of everyone within the Valley Health family that helps deliver care to our patients. While we understand how stressful these negotiations can be to patients, please know that our commitment to you and your families is steadfast. We are all in this together.

Sincerely,

Members of the Valley Health Medical Staff

Click here to view the list of individual practices and providers that signed.