60Plus Condemns Chesapeake Regional Hospital for Taking Seniors as “Hostages” to Get More Money

Chesapeake, Va. — 60Plus, a leading advocate for senior citizens in Virginia, has condemned Chesapeake Regional Hospital’s “abusive” negotiation tactics with Anthem.

“Chesapeake Regional Hospital has taken seniors as hostages in order to extract higher payments from Virginia’s employers and consumers,” said Saul Anuzis, President of 60 Plus. “This kind of abusive negotiation tactic has no place in the commonwealth of Virginia, and Chesapeake’s leadership should immediately apologize to the community and rescind their threat to terminate access for thousands of vulnerable seniors living in southeast Virginia.”

According to reports, Chesapeake Regional Hospital initiated a contract termination with Anthem that would go into effect on July 1 and threatens healthcare access for individuals with employer-sponsored insurance, Medicaid and Medicare Advantage patients who have their insurance through Anthem.

Chesapeake’s behavior fits a nationwide pattern. Hospitals, under the guidance of well-paid consultants, are increasingly leveraging an “out-of-network strategy” to drive higher payments for the hospitals. That strategy entails “leveraging social media and community news outlets to make their position public and put pressure on the payor” to agree to higher rates. Central to this strategy is scaring vulnerable patients—like seniors—that access to their favorite doctors and providers will be disrupted.

This is the playbook that Chesapeake appears to be following.

That’s why 60 Plus is calling out Chesapeake’s leadership for deploying this tactic and arguing that Chesapeake take every measure to protect seniors’ access to affordable care.