Wellstar is seeking a $22 million increase in one year for care provided by Wellstar Clinical Partners (WCP)
Wellstar has claimed that it wants to modernize our contract, but it conveniently failed to mention that it’s demanding an approximate 50% price hike for more than 1,000 independent primary care physicians and specialists who are part of WCP. That price hike would equate to a $22 million increase in health care costs in just one year without delivering any demonstrable improvement in quality.
Wellstar has asked that we bring the affiliated physicians who are part of WCP under its current rate structure as part of its efforts to continue building a clinically integrated network. While we understand the value of clinical integration and the benefits it can bring to patients, we are not willing to agree to such an egregious increase in health care costs that would directly impact the employer customers and members we serve.
The majority of WCP physicians participate in our network through direct contracts that reimburse them at market-competitive rates. These physicians are not impacted by our current negotiations and will remain in our network even if we’re unable to reach an agreement with Wellstar. Wellstar is well aware of that fact but is attempting to obtain egregious price hikes that contribute to the existing problem of skyrocketing health care costs.
As part of our effort to compromise and find a middle ground, we have engaged in ongoing conversations with Wellstar about how we could bring the affiliated WCP physicians under its main contract but at reasonable, market-competitive rates. We are committed to working with Wellstar to ensure that all WCP physicians are fairly and appropriately reimbursed for the important services they provide.