El Camino Health severs ties with country’s second largest health insurer
by Kevin Forestieri / Mountain View Voice
El Camino Health terminated its contract with Anthem Blue Cross last month over price disputes, suddenly putting the hospital out of network for those covered by the country’s second-largest health insurer.
But it’s not the first time and it’s unlikely to be the last, as many Bay Area hospitals are finding it tough to live with Anthem’s price-cutting tactics.
Rising health care costs are at the heart of these clashes, which are happening with surprising regularity. El Camino and Stanford Health Care have both temporarily dropped Anthem at least three times over the last decade, along with MarinHealth last year and Sutter Health in 2019.
The story is almost always the same: The hospitals accuse Anthem of penny pinching and paying less for services than other insurers, while Anthem describes health care costs in Northern California as unreasonably high and partly to blame for the country’s high cost for health care.
These disputes rarely happen between local hospitals and other health insurers.