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Pete’s Perspective: Standing Up for What is Right – Protection for Our Patients, Protection for Our Future

  • Category: CEO Update
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Pete’s Perspective: Standing Up for What is Right – Protection for Our Patients, Protection for Our Future

Media Contact: Karina Rusk

Since opening our doors in 1953, Salinas Valley Health has played an essential role in supporting the health and well-being of people throughout our region. This includes advanced medical services nationally recognized for quality, expansive outreach within our community and strong governance of our public district healthcare system.

Simply put, we work to protect our future so we can continue to deliver the best possible care to our patients. To fulfill our mission, we need fair and equitable reimbursement from health insurance companies.

We have successfully negotiated contracts with nearly all major health plans, including Blue Shield, United, Aetna and Cigna. Regrettably, Anthem Blue Cross has yet to come to an agreement that pays us fairly for the care we provide.

We initiated the renegotiation of our agreement with Anthem because we must have reimbursement rates that will sustain our entire system – our medical center, our clinics and our urgent care providers. Together, these facilities help more than half a million patients annually.

Some of Anthem’s clinic reimbursement rates are significantly lower than what Medicare pays us. Our hospital reimbursement is effectively paid substantially less today by Anthem than in the 1990s.

Like healthcare providers across the nation, Salinas Valley Health is feeling the crushing weight of rising costs, labor shortages and out-of-control inflation. Anthem recognizes the financial headwinds we face, yet it has rejected the six proposals we have submitted in good faith and twice turned down requests to extend our current contract to protect our patients and their members.

Since August 1, 2023, Anthem has pushed us out-of-network, creating worry and confusion for our patients. Salinas Valley Health, however, is standing strong and will continue to honor in-network rates for the foreseeable future. Doing so means we will not bill our patients for what Anthem Blue Cross refuses to pay.

We continue to negotiate with Anthem to reach an equitable agreement. We continue to take the high road. While we cannot continue to maintain the level of care and scope of access that our community needs and deserves without adequate reimbursement from Anthem, we are fighting for what is right.

Be assured we will communicate often to keep you up to date. Anyone with questions can call our patient support line at 831-202-6870 or visit our website,

Our mission is simple and has been for seventy years: To provide high-quality care to every patient who walks through our doors. We value your trust in us and are here for you always.

Be safe and be well.

– Pete

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