Anthem Blue Cross, Dignity Health reach new network agreement in California

Anthem Blue Cross and Dignity Health have mended fences and reached a new network agreement in California.

Last month, the two canceled their network arrangement in California amid a spat over payment rates. Anthem said in a notice posted to its website that the health system charges 30% more than its peers in the state.

Anthem said Dignity Health would at times charge more than 300 times the Medicare payment rate. The new agreement is built on "protecting affordability for consumers," Anthem said in an announcement.

The insurer said the deal will apply retroactively to July 15, when the original arrangement was called off, and lasts through April 30, 2025.

RELATED: Anthem seeing higher Medicaid member engagement through Sydney app

“We are pleased to continue working with Dignity. While we understand this wasn’t easy for consumers, it was necessary for us to stand firm as part of our efforts to help slow the sharp rise in health care costs,” said John Pickett, regional vice president of provider solutions at Anthem Blue Cross, in a statement.

“We value our relationships with providers, which are important to creating choices for our consumers and fulfilling our mission of improving lives and communities. Our members remained our number one priority as we worked hard and in good faith to find common ground and reach an agreement with Dignity that helps protect affordability," Pickett said.

Dignity noted in its own statement that the two were also able to reach a contract agreement earlier this year in Nevada that avoided any gaps in coverage.

In California, the system "held Anthem claims" temporarily to avoid impacts on patient's medical bills while negotiations continued, according to the statement.

"Dignity Health is pleased to announce we have reached a new agreement with Anthem in California and Nevada that will allow Anthem-insured patients to maintain in-network access to Dignity Health services, facilities and providers," the health system said. "This is a win for our patients who deserve access to high-quality, high-value healthcare services close to home, and we appreciate their patience as we have worked through this process."