Cigna, Tenet reach agreement on brink of network coverage lapse

Cigna and Tenet announced “good news” on Jan. 1 after reaching an agreement on a new commercial contract. The previous contract between Cigna and Tenet was scheduled to end on New Year's Day, after both companies struggled to come to a new agreement over nearly a year of negotiations.

Without a new contract, Cigna consumers in several states could have lost in-network coverage with Tenet hospitals. Cigna is one of the nation’s largest health insurance providers. Tenet, based in Dallas, is a healthcare services company and for-profit hospital operator that has struggled with its finances over the last year, when an aggressive cost-cutting initiative was put in place that saw the divestment of several assets.

Cigna previously claimed Tenet was pushing for “unreasonable prices” in its commercial health plans during the negotiation process.

The new contract is a multiyear agreement that is covered under Cigna’s commercial health plans with in-network access to Tenet providers and facilities.

“This means Cigna commercial customers will have uninterrupted, in-network access to Tenet Healthcare facilities and affiliated providers,” Cigna stated on its website dedicated to the relationship with Tenet. “Our goal throughout contract negotiations has been to keep health care affordable in local communities for our clients and customers and we are pleased with this outcome.”

All Tenet facilities also remain in-network providers for Medicare beneficiaries insured in a Cigna-HealthSpring Medicare Advantage plan, according to a press release from Tenet.

“We are pleased to have reached a successful resolution with Cigna,” Ron Rittenmeyer, Tenet’s executive chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “We believe this is the right outcome for our patients, employees and communities, and we look forward to continuing to serve Cigna members around the country today and in years to come."

In addition to securing its contract with Tenet, Cigna also reached a new statewide agreement with Envision Healthcare in Arizona in November. Envision, a physician services company based in Nashville, Tennessee, was also plagued with negotiation battles in 2018 with another health insurance provider, UnitedHealthcare. The two reached an agreement in December.