Parrish Healthcare is Cigna’s preferred network within the BPS Silver Plan
BREVARD COUNTY • TITUSVILLE, FLORIDA – Parrish Healthcare announced its relationship with Cigna Health Care will end on Friday, Dec. 16, citing overall financial losses from its relationship with Cigna and a refusal by the insurance giant to reimburse Parrish over $1 million for services previously provided to members despite projected Cigna 2022 revenues of more than $179 billion.
“We cannot continue to operate at a loss with Cigna,” said Parrish Healthcare Senior Vice President and Chief Transformation Officer Chris McAlpine, who said along with the financial losses Cigna is forcing on Parrish, the insurance giant also refuses to pay $1.3 million it owes additionally for services to its members.
“Operating at a deficit with Cigna means we would have to make up the difference from other payers, and/or increase our rates to self-pay patients, which is not fair to others who use our hospital,” McAlpine said.
“This was a difficult but necessary decision. We have tried for many months to reach an agreement with Cigna through which Parrish Healthcare would not be operating at a loss related to Cigna patients; unfortunately, we could not arrive at an arrangement that was fair to the hospital and, ultimately, to the people we serve. For months we have been in negotiations with Cigna representatives Vice President, Network Management North Florida Diane Wilkosz, Assistant Vice President Network Management Ron Bechor, Institutional Network Administrator Phil Osczepinski and Provider Contract Negotiator Lee Shupsky, to no avail,” said McAlpine.
Parrish continues to work cooperatively with more than 20 insurers; however, as of Dec. 16, Cigna will not be on the list.
A Parrish spokesperson said Parrish charges patients less than all other Brevard hospitals, according to information on the Florida Compare Care Web site based on results reported and certified by healthcare facilities to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.
“Losses occurring from the Cigna contract are felt acutely,” McAlpine said.
According to Parrish Healthcare, Cigna has refused to pay $1.3 million it additionally owes for services contractually rendered to Cigna members.
This is despite “Cigna’s outlook for the full year 2022 adjusted revenues are projected to be at least $179 billion,” according to a recent press release, “Cigna Reports Strong Third Quarter 2022 Results, Raises 2022 Outlook.”
The release also stated, “Cigna’s outlook for full year 2022 consolidated adjusted income from operations is projected to be $7.23 billion.”
Furthermore, according to Cigna’s published quarterly financials, the multi-billion-dollar insurance company reports its net income is up 70.08%; net profit margin is up 67.12% and its net change in cash is up 749.11%.
A letter issued by Cigna concerning Parrish to its member states, “our goal is to reach an agreement that keeps your healthcare affordable.”
“Parrish Healthcare’s Parrish Medical Center is the county’s only public hospital, and is one of the least expensive hospitals in the state,” said George Mikitarian, Parrish Healthcare president and CEO.
“As such, Parrish Healthcare’s position has been consistently clear. This matter could have been easily resolved some time ago by Cigna paying us what we are owed, $1.3 million.
“What has occurred has been to string us along, hoping that we would just give in and go away. Under the conditions Cigna is imposing on us and the people we serve, we cannot and will not rescind our notice of termination. It’s the only avenue left to us. Shame on them for initiating such a heartless tactic!” said Mikitarian.
Additionally, Mikitarian said that as an Independent District of the State of Florida, “We view these funds as the public’s money: $1.3 million is a material sum of money for our organization as we carry out our charitable mission. There is no dispute as to whether this money is owed to us.
We have provided to Cigna a very reasonable solution. We expect to be paid.”
Parrish Healthcare is also the only clinically integrated organization in the country as accredited by the Joint Commission, the nation’s leading healthcare organization accreditation body.
“Parrish Healthcare’s clinical integration has led to successful performance of its contract with Brevard Public Schools,” said a Parrish spokesperson.
“Parrish Healthcare is Cigna’s preferred network within the BPS Silver Plan offered to its employees and performs exponentially better in terms of cost-savings for both the employer and the employees. According to Cigna’s numbers, BPS’ Gold Plan is $12 million over budget and the Silver Plan is $2 million better than budget.”
McAlpine said the cost savings to the BPS and its employees have been substantial.
“Therefore, we do not see our expectation of full repayment as a burden to a multi-billion-dollar insurance company that has posted record earnings or its subscribers. It is exactly the opposite,” said McAlpine.
“What we cannot do, regardless of the size of Cigna or their bullying tactics, is lose money in our dealings with the company,” added Mikitarian.
“It is important to note, however, there is no impact on use of emergency services; those will continue to be covered as in the past, he said.
For a list of insurers with which Parrish Healthcare (Parrish Medical Center and Parrish Medical Group) participate is available HERE. Cigna will be removed from the website as an affiliate effective December 16, 2022.
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