By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV
January 31, 2023
After months of uncertainty, a contract dispute between Blue Ridge Cancer Center and Humana has been successfully settled. The agreement will allow West Virginia Public Employee Insurance Agency (PEIA) patients who receive care at the Blue Ridge Cancer Center via the Humana Medicare Advantage to continue receiving care in-network.
“I’m delighted,” shares Allan Clower, a Blue Ridge patient and DHHR retiree with PEIA coverage who resides in Organ Cave. “I’ve been going for about six years for treatments, and I’m delighted I can now continue seeing the excellent oncologist and nursing staff at Blue Ridge.”
This latest development comes after an initial announcement in Fall 2022 by Blue Ridge. They told patients they would be unable to continue receiving treatment due to a contract dispute with Humana Medicare Advantage. Humana is one of two medical plan options available to retirees in West Virginia receiving coverage from PEIA.
According to that notification released by the Blue Ridge Cancer Center, they decided to terminate the contract with Humana as of March 1, 2023. This left patients going elsewhere for services, or continuing out-of-network.
“They said I could go elsewhere,” said Clower, “but it was farther away from my home with a doctor and staff I didn’t know.”
A call to PEIA for comment on the contractual issue and the apparent resolution went unreturned. It is not known if the contractual issue affects patients at other facilities.
On January 30, 2023, Blue Ridge announced on their website that a contractual agreement had been reached , saying, “We are pleased to share that Blue Ridge Cancer Care will remain in-network with the Humana Medicare Advantage. We understand how the previous termination news may have caused some concern and we thank you for your patience as we worked through this process.”
“We’re just glad this is over,” offers Clower. “It’s welcome news.”