CHICO, Calif. -- The dispute between Enloe Medical Center and Anthem Blue Cross is impacting thousands of people this week, leaving many asking what is next.
Action News Now has the answer to that question and spoke with people who have Anthem Blue Cross.
We learned today the battle between Enloe and Anthem Blue Cross impacts at least 10,000 people.
On November 1st, Enloe canceled its contract with Anthem Blue Cross to renegotiate the terms of the deal.
"We should have been talking about this a while ago," said Mike Wiltermood, CEO of Enloe Medical Center.
This hits close to home for thousands of people in the north state, including Butte County Deputy District Attorney Joshua Owen.
"Me and my wife are concerned. Having to drive to Feather River as the closest hospital would be quite an inconvenience," said Owen.
"People need to know we definitely accept all emergency services and people that are in the middle of care we need to maintain that continuity of care so that shouldn't be a problem," said Wiltermood.
What is Enloe's policy for anyone who comes in for treatment, but has Anthem Blue Cross?
"If the financial responsibility is too much, we'll do everything we can to get them to a spot where, you know, whether it's Sacramento, the Bay Area, or somewhere local, where they can get their services," said Wiltermood.
"Where people might get in trouble, is where they have a scheduled surgery, say an elected surgery that's not necessarily life-threatening, that could be put off a couple months. In those cases they may be asked to pay an additional out of pocket expense. Or in some cases their plan may not cover it at all," said Wiltermood.
"But I do want to reassure everybody that if you have an accident, if you have a medical emergency, we're gonna take care of you," said Wiltermood.
A spokesman from Anthem Blue Cross issued this statement -
"We do believe hospitals and doctors should be compensated fairly, and that has been reflected in our offers to Enloe.
However, we cannot agree to rates that are not in line with what similar providers in the area receive," said Wiltermood.
"I hoped they would have reached a resolution before the November 1st deadline so we wouldn't have to deal with this," said Owen.
Action News Now asked the same questions of Anthem Blue Cross they said -
"Emergency care is always covered regardless of where you go and there are other hospitals in their network that will work with local doctors and patients."
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