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Anthem, UC Health dispute could affect Tri-State patients

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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

A dispute between Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and UC Health could affect thousands of patients in the Tri-State.

UC Health wants higher reimbursement rates, but Anthem says the rates are among the highest in the region.

The two sides have until April 15th to come terms on a new contract. If they don't, Anthem members will have to pay out-of-network rates if they want to continue using UC Health services.

Members are concerned especially after getting a letter like this last week that warns them they may have to find other doctors other than those provided through uc health.

Anthem sent out some 14,000 letters to members last week warning them they may have to find other doctors than those provided through UC Health.

On Anthem shareholder, Shelly Berman, is not amused.

"That's what I was thinking, really, don't I have enough to deal with already without having to worry about what I'm going to do about my doctor?" asked Berman.

Shelly Berman is a multi-media artist in East Westwood who values the relationship she has with her primary care physician.

"I'm not going to go find another doctor... I want to keep my doctor, and if I have to work something else out, get other health insurance or something, I guess I'll have to do that," said Berman.

Shelly is not alone. Anthem's Facebook page is full of posts from concerned members like Katie Rupert, who says 'I have contacted the local media about your despicable greed. If I didn't have stage IV cancer and was stuck with your natsty health care plan, I would drop you in an instant.'

FOX19 spoke with Katie Rupert, but she was too ill from chemotherapy to go on camera.

In response, Anthem issued a statement which reads, in part: 

UC Health is already the most highly reimbursed hospital system in Greater Cincinnati and they are demanding their physicians be paid more than other local physicians. The hospital and physician contracts that we negotiate on behalf of our customers directly impact what they pay for their medical care.

Members like Shelly Berman are asking, "Is there any way you could come up and split the difference so that we can still keep our doctors and our health insurance because that would be the best of all worlds."

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