Cigna terminates contract with Tennessee anesthesia provider

Cigna terminated its contract with Knoxville-based American Anesthesiology of Tennessee, an affiliate of North American Partners in Anesthesia, on Jan. 1, the medical practice said. 

"Cigna's aggressive actions toward physician groups like ours is part of a disturbing national trend," Matthew Walsh, MD, NAPA's regional vice president of clinical operations, told Becker's in a statement. "Insurers have a financial incentive to kick quality providers out of network to boost their bottom line, even when it disrupts the healthcare system and makes it harder for patients to access in-network care."

After Cigna reportedly proposed a 30% rate reduction, the payer sent a letter to AATN stating it was unable to move forward with the present contract, Dr. Walsh told Becker's

"The practice was given a 'take it or leave it' offer at significantly reduced rates," Dr. Walsh said. "When it was not accepted, Cigna terminated our existing agreement."

"Our goal is to keep healthcare affordable, especially as our clients and customers are managing rising prices, and we have offered AATN reasonable rates in line with other local providers in hope of reaching agreement before our contract ends," a Cigna spokesperson said in a statement shared with Becker's. "AATN chose to leave our network on December 31, and we are always willing to negotiate to bring AATN back in network, but only at fair, affordable rates for the people we serve."

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