ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix Children’s contract with Aetna expires, leaving policyholders with higher costs

Aug 8, 2023, 12:00 PM

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Children's)...

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Children's)

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Children's)

PHOENIX — Phoenix Children’s contract with insurer Aetna expired Monday and Valley policyholders could deal with higher costs as a result.

Aetna policyholders are considered out-of-network as long as the two sides aren’t in an agreement.

Phoenix Children’s, in a statement to KTAR News, said it would “work diligently” with Aetna to come to a new agreement that “supports the expanded, expert care we provide to children and their families throughout our community.”

The hospital added that the amount of routine denials from the insurer has been a holdup in negotiations.

“The contracting process can be difficult and can cause uncertainty, especially for our patient families who rely on the expert care Phoenix Children’s provides at our 40 sites of service throughout Arizona,” Phoenix Children’s said.

The hospital was in a similar situation with United Healthcare earlier this year but came to an agreement a day after their contract ended.

Redirect Health Chief Medical Officer Janice Johnston told ABC15 Arizona there’s a trend with hospitals and insurers waiting until the last minute to tidy up negotiations.

“It is not just with Phoenix Children’s, not just with Aetna, but it’s a wide widespread problem,” Johnston said.

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Phoenix Children’s contract with Aetna expires, leaving policyholders with higher costs