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Patients anxious about Anthem-Parkview deadline

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) -- The contract between Parkview Health and Anthem insurance is set to expire at midnight.

"It has been anxiety-provoking. And the closer it gets to the deadline, the more my anxiety goes up," Heather Caldwell says.

Caldwell says she has Anthem insurance, and is classified as medically fragile.

She says it's taken years to find specialists in the Parkview network appropriate for her condition, and she's concered that if Anthem and Parkview don't reach a contract agreement at the eleventh hour, she'll have to either look for other providers or pay more to continue with the doctors she has.

Tens of thousands of people in northeast Indiana have Anthem insurance and rely on Parkview providers for their health care.

"There is no way that I have enough money to pay those out of network fees. So I would have to stop seeing my current physicians and take the time to look for a Lutheran provider that is in whatever specialty I need and then go to them. And that would possibly be a lapse in health care for me," she says.

Tens of thousands of people in northeast Indiana have Anthem insurance and rely on Parkview providers for their health care.

But perhaps not for much longer.

"Can you imagine the backup that these offices within Lutheran or IU Health might have when all these people who previously went to Parkview are trying to get into all these providers at the same time?" Jamie Gregory asks.

Anthem member Gregory says she feels for patients who trust their mental health counselors and might have to switch, as well as people who need to see specialists.

"The concern for me right now is, we're in the middle of a pandemic. Trying to find new providers for me and my son is a concern. Going to someone I don't know, don't necessarily have a relationship with is also a concern," she says.

She and Caldwell say the failure to reach a contract agreement gives the impression that the two sides are greedy and not wanting to put patient health care first.

"You are literally risking people's lives and health in a time where it's very important for people to be as healthy as they possibly can with the pandemic," Caldwell admonishes.

The most recent statement from Parkview says, "Parkview Health is still actively engaged in discussions with Anthem of Indiana, and negotiations could continue up until tonight's contract deadline. As caregivers, we understand the impact this situation could have on our valued patients and will provide an update as soon as we are able."

Corinne Rose

Corinne Rose is a reporter for WPTA.

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