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Dumped by Insurer, Fountain Valley Hospital Owner 'Puzzled' by Breakup

Tenet Healthcare officials issued a statement saying they were unaware of any contract disputes with their health insurance-provider, Health Net.

Officials from a company that owns six hospitals in Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties -- including Fountain Valley Regional Hospital and Medical Center  -- said today they were “puzzled” by the decision of health insurance-provider Health Net Inc. to stop covering services at its hospitals.

Health Net announced Thursday it will stop covering patients' medical and health services at the hospitals run by Tenet Healthcare after contract negotiations broke down.

But Tenet officials issued a statement saying they were unaware of any contract disputes.

“Over the past several months, we have been working with Health Net to renegotiate the terms of our managed care contracts at six of our hospitals in Southern California. At the time of our last meeting, we were in full agreement on the terms of our co­ntract,” according to the statement.

“It is unclear to us as to why Health Net issued a contract termination and publicly released inaccurate information.”

At issue are reimbursement rates for health and medical services. Health Net officials said Thursday the company wanted reimbursement rate increases to be tied to the Consumer Price Index, which averages about 3 percent, according to the company. Health Net also wanted Medi-Cal reimbursements to be tied to state and federal funding for the program. The hospital system was pushing for higher reimbursement rates, according to Health Net.

Health Net's Western Region Health Plan President Steve Sell said Thursday the company had no choice because “Tenet Healthcare has refused our requests to negotiate a new contract that more accurately reflects current statewide market conditions.”

“Our goal is to help preserve affordable benefits for our customers, not pass along inflated health care costs,” Sell said.

The affected hospitals include Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, Los Alamitos Medical Center, John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Indio, Lakewood Regional Medical Center and Placentia Linda Hospital.

Health Net officially stopped covering health and medical services at the six hospitals at midnight Dec. 21, when a three-year contract expired.

 “We are puzzled and disappointed by their public comments,” according to Tenet's statement.

“Our patients remain our top priority and we will do all that we can to ensure they continue to receive the high-quality health care they have come to expect from our Southern California hospitals.”

-- City News Service

N December 29, 2012 at 01:50 AM
These people are crooks and deserve a special place in hell. I went for a chest x ray two years ago at FVRH. I am a small businessman with a high deductible of $2K at the time. I told them that I had insurance with a high dedutible and I asked what is the cost if I pay cash...they said about $175 dollars. I asked what is the cost if I go through my insurance they responded $575 dollars. So, I said lets do cash since I am the one who has to meet the $2k deductible. Can't do that they said. Yes, they could have I ended up having to pay $575 for a $175 xray...crooks all of them.
anonymous December 30, 2012 at 08:55 PM
Crooks is an understatement. Tenets charges for poor quality care is outrageous. They put shareholders before patients, and innocent patients are victims. Thats why healthcare costs are so high- because corporations like tenet rob our healthcare system.
anonymous December 30, 2012 at 11:05 PM
With tenet, profit is first priority. Not patient care.
anonymous December 30, 2012 at 11:06 PM
With tenet, profit is first priority. Not patient care.
Joker Joe December 31, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Obama care will save us!!!!

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