FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Phoenix, AZ, August 6, 2023) – Women’s Health Arizona, the state’s largest OB/GYN group, and Cigna failed to reach a new contract agreement prior to the termination of their existing agreement, effective June 1, 2023. As a result, more than 120 OB/GYN healthcare providers were removed from the Cigna network, impacting 17,000 Phoenix-area patients.
Women’s Health Arizona urgently initiated discussions with Cigna since February in hopes of avoiding this outcome. Despite our best efforts to find common ground, as of June 30th Cigna has refused to negotiate further. Women’s Health Arizona remains willing to negotiate to return to in-network status.
“Women’s Health Arizona affiliated providers are committed to providing the highest-quality care possible and minimizing the disruption this situation has created for impacted patients,” said Dr Andrew Villa, Women’s Health Arizona. “We are disappointed that patient access to their trusted providers has been interrupted, in spite of active negotiations over several months to avoid this outcome.”
While we have approached each discussion with a willingness to compromise, so long as we can continue to deliver the highest quality of care to our patients, we do not believe Cigna has sought a new agreement in the same manner, as highlighted below.
- Cigna’s proposed rates are significantly lower than those of other private insurers and AHCCCS, Arizona’s Medicaid Agency.
- Continuing to accept these rates jeopardizes our mission of delivering the highest-quality care possible, in a long-term sustainable manner, for our valued patients. In contrast, we have repeatedly proposed cost-savings programs to Cigna that would provide significant cost savings to them, while reducing out-of-pocket costs for patients.
- Cigna’s proposed agreement also removes Women’s Health Arizona providers from clinical quality programs, which empower our providers to improve the quality and affordability of care for women.
- Cigna also added restrictive language inhibiting our ability to add new providers onto their proposed agreement – an additional cost savings tactic benefiting Cigna.
- Arizona’s population has grown by more than 10% in the last decade, resulting in an overall shortage of OB/GYN providers. Such restrictions further exacerbate the provider shortage that impacts Arizona women and jeopardizes our ability to meet the evolving needs of the growing patient population in Arizona.
“Women’s Health Arizona is hopeful to reach a new mutual agreement with Cigna that allows our providers to return to in-network status soon,” said Dr. Villa. “Meanwhile, we are committed to continued development of payor partnerships, and are pursuing direct-payment arrangements with area employers to help mitigate negative impacts to our patients.”
Women’s Health Arizona is currently an in-network provider for many health plans including UnitedHealthcare, Aetna, BlueCross BlueShield, and many others.
With over 120 providers and 21 care centers around the Phoenix area, Women’s Health Arizona is the state’s largest OB/GYN group. Women’s Health Arizona is a family of providers who are dedicated to raising the bar on women’s healthcare by employing the latest services and technologies, and advancing the quality, standards, and accessibility of care for women in the Phoenix metropolitan area. The longstanding collegial atmosphere between our providers allows regular sharing of ideas and advancements, so they can deliver the best, most consistent women’s healthcare experience available. For more information, visit https://www.womenshealthaz.com/.
Our Cigna patients have shown tremendous support on social media, and we extend our most heartfelt thanks to them during this time of frustration.
It is our continued privilege to serve as our patient’s trusted healthcare provider and will do everything possible to minimize further disruptions that impact patient care.
For more information, contact:
Jennifer McCurdy, Operations & Marketing Liaison
Women’s Health Arizona
Email: [email protected]