Tenet obtains high rates for exchange patients

Hospitals negotiate exchange contracts close to commercial levels
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With millions of Americans expected to obtain coverage through the health insurance exchanges, Tenet Healthcare does not plan to budge much on its pricing, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Tenet expects to discount hospital care for exchange-based enrollees no more than 10 percent compared with its existing book of business, according to Kaiser Health News.

"At an investor conference in January, there was some talk about the possibility of deeper discounts in pricing--at [low] Medicare and Medicaid levels," Tenet CEO Trevor Fetter told stock analysts last week, KHN noted. "Our recent negotiations should reassure you that this is not the case and that this market is turning out as expected."

Moreover, Fetter had disclosed exchange deals with three large Blues plans that cover nearly a third of its hospitals, which were all structured like more-favorable commercial contracts. Similarly, Community Health Systems also reported negotiations that were yielding close to commercial rates, according to the Wall Street Journal.

These exchange contracts contrast with what WellPoint said it would pay hospitals. The insurance giant planned to pay hospitals for exchange patients at reimbursement levels lower than commercial rates, FierceHealthFinance previously reported.

For more:
- read the Kaiser Health News article
- here's the Wall Street Journal article

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