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  • Akron Children's Hospital, Anthem reach agreement

  • Akron Children's Hospital and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield have reached an agreement in contract negotiations
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  • Akron Children's Hospital and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield have ended contract negotiations, reaching an agreement that allows those with insurance through Anthem to keep the hospital system as an in-network provider, according to a release.
    Customers could have faced higher costs starting Jan. 1.
    The agreement includes all Anthem commercial health care plans effective January 1, 2014.
    In late November, Anthem informed customers that Akron Children's was ending its facility, physician and ancillary network contracts with Anthem in 2014, unless the two entities agreed on a new reimbursement contract. If an agreement could not be reached, Anthem customers would face higher out-of-network costs for using the hospital or its services.
    The contract also effected inpatient pediatric units at Aultman Hospital, Robinson Memorial Hospital, East Liverpool Hospital and Wooster Community Hospital, and neonatal intensive care units at Summa Akron City hospital, Akron General Medical Center and St. Elizabeth Medical Center.
    "We are pleased that we were able to reach an agreement with Anthem so we could remain accessible to all of the Anthem-enrolled patient families who rely on our services and providers," said Karen Richter, vice president of managed care at Akron Children's, in the release.
    Akron Children's has two hospital campuses and more than 80 primary and specialty care locations.
    Anthem has more than 3.3 million customers in Ohio through individual and employer health care plans.