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No New Talks Set In Norton-Anthem Impasse (UPDATE)

The contract between Louisville's largest heathcare system and Kentucky's largest health insurer ended this morning with no new agreement.No new talks are scheduled between Norton Healthcare and Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield. As of July 1, Norton hospitals and services are no longer included in the Anthem coverage network, with the exception of Kosair Children's Hospital.Norton Associate Vice-President of Managed Care Jim Meyers says that doesn't mean all Anthem patients will immediately have to pay out-of-network costs. Many would fall under a 'continuation of care' provision."It's both state law and in the contract that allows them to continue to come to our facilities for a period of time. It differs from state to state. But they would still be able to come here as in-network rates and we'd be obligated to accept the previous rates from the old contract," Meyers said Tuesday.Norton officials say they want Anthem to pay higher reimbursement rates and improve its administrative procedures. Anthem says the rate hike Norton wants is too high. Norton has declined to disclose the amount of the increase it wants.Anthem announced late Tuesday it would pay the higher rate requested by Norton at Kosair only.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.