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Cigna and Trinity Strike Deal: Are Patients the New Bargaining Chip?

Analysis  |  By Marie DeFreitas  
   March 04, 2024

Cigna and Trinity Health sign off on multiyear deal after months of negotiations and a disruption of coverage.

Cigna and Trinity Health of New England have struck a multiyear deal  after months of contentious negotiations that left patients out of network.

Cigna’s original contract with Trinity that covered Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital, St. Francis Hospital, and Trinity Health of New England Medical Group providers in Connecticut expired on January 1.

The new deal, which started March 1, applies to those facilities as well as St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury and Johnson Memorial Hospital in Stafford, which have agreements that do not expire until April 30, according to a report from the Harvard Business Journal.

While full details of the agreement were not released, this new deal will extend coverage to all of Trinity Health’s facilities in Connecticut.

Why It Matters

Payer and provider negotiations have become more contentious as providers face rising health costs. Providers are pushing back against payers to cover these costs as payers are feeling the pressure to curtail premiums.

And, as in this case, this can mean a disruption in coverage for patients while the two parties work on an agreement.

“We worked diligently to negotiate an agreement that covers the true cost of the care we provide—which is critical to ensuring our Regional Health Ministry can continue to invest in the medical staff, care innovations, and health programs our community expects and deserves, because Health Comes First,” Trinity said in an announcement.

“While we wish this agreement could have come without going out of network with Cigna, we look forward to continuing our partnership.”

Trinity’s announcement addressed the two-month-long disruption of coverage for their patients and encouraged them to contact the number on the back of their Cigna insurance card to ensure they will be covered at in-network rates as they resume scheduling appointments.

As more payers and providers continue to battle, we may see more providers going out of network temporarily, or permanently, as a way to even the playing field.

Trinity’s Push For More Data 

In January Trinity Health also struck a multiyear deal with Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Connecticut. This agreement mentions that the two would collaborate on several initiatives “including advanced data connectivity and value-based care models designed to improve health outcomes and better control costs for Trinity Health patients covered by Anthem health plans.”

The announcement on Trinity’s website stated that the two organizations will incorporate the Epic Payer Platform into regular operations that will work to streamline patient data flow, among several other operational efficiency goals.

“Our shared focus on simplifying the healthcare ecosystem, removing barriers to care, and overcoming administrative hurdles for doctors and clinicians is a particularly rewarding aspect of our relationship with Trinity Health,” said Anthem Vice President of Networks Jordan Vidor.

Trinity Health’s newest deal with Cigna did not include collaborative goals such as these. Harvard Business Journal reported that Kaitlin Rocheleau, a spokeswoman for Trinity Health, said the new agreement with Cigna "does not yet include collaboration on data connectivity and value-based care models, but we intend to continue those discussions."

Marie DeFreitas is an associate content specialist at HealthLeaders.


Cigna and Trinity Health have come to multiyear agreement after a two-month-long disruption of coverage for Trinity’s patients

As payers and providers continue to battle, providers are going out of network temporarily, or permanently, as a way to even the playing field

Trinity Health also struck a deal with Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield in January after a push from the health system for more data sharing

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