St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Belleville has reached a new deal with health care insurance company Aetna.
Beginning Oct. 1, the Belleville hospital and other Hospital Sisters Health System hospitals, including St. Joseph's Hospital in Highland and St. Joseph's Hospital in Breese, will accept insurance from those Aetna. The hospital also announced that HSHS Managed Care Services will be working on a long-term, system-wide contract throughout next year.
Although the previous contract expired last July, negotiations continued between the two sides. The new contract runs through Dec. 31, 2014. Hospital spokeswoman Kelly Barbeau declined to comment about the terms of the new contract but said the hospital is happy to announce the new deal.
"We are pleased to be coming to terms with this contract for the benefit of patients in or area," Barbeau said.
In a released statement, hospital controller and finance director Leslie Lovshin said St. Elizabeth's is committed to providing high-quality health care to metro-east residents.
"HSHS providers are constantly working to enhance the quality of care we provide while also working to reduce costs and deliver care more efficiently," Lovshin said. "We are pleased that an agreement was reached with Aetna and we are excited to welcome patients with this provider back to St. Elizabeth's for their future care."
Across town, negotiations continue at Belleville's other hospital and one of the largest insurance providers. Although a contract between Memorial Hospital and United Healthcare expired in July, hospital Chief Financial Officer Joe Lanius said both continue to negotiate a new deal.
"We are talking and we are back at the table," Lanius said. "We are exchanging proposals."
In June, the hospital reported that the contract dispute was over hospital and physician reimbursement rates between the hospital in Belleville and the insurance company as the contract was set to expire. Lanius said this is not unusual when hospitals and insurance companies sit down to negotiate a new deal.
"Typically when you run into these terminations, I would say most hospitals and plans get back together sometime from two weeks to two months," he said. "They eventually work their way back."
Contact reporter Will Buss at email@example.com or 239-2526.