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Patients Rally around Augusta Health in Anthem Insurance Dispute

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Thousands of patients and supporters are rallying around Augusta Health in its continuing contract dispute with Anthem Insurance.

The contract between Anthem and Augusta Health expired at midnight on Dec. 31, 2017, meaning that Augusta Heath is now “out-of-network” with the insurance company.

The hospital says its call center helped around 5,000 people figure out a plan for their care, but many patients are putting off elective surgeries and screening exams until negotiations are complete. 

An online petition urging Anthem to reimburse Augusta Health at rates comparable to other hospitals in the region collected over 6,800 signatures.

“It is very encouraging the community has supported us the way they have,” said Scott Crabtree, the administrative director of professional services at Augusta Health. “That tells us they understand what we're fighting for and what we're seeking in these negotiations with Anthem and that is fair and comparable pay in comparison to our neighboring hospitals.

Augusta Health says negotiations with Anthem will continue and expects to meet face-to-face with insurance company representatives later in the week.