Sarasota Memorial Health Care System has been working for nearly a year to renew its contract with Cigna insurance company. We have asked for fair and reasonable terms and protections for Sarasota Memorial Hospital, First Physicians Group (FPG) and most importantly, our patients, but Cigna has refused.
We have extended our contract several times while negotiations continued, but we are now at an impasse.
Because Sarasota Memorial's contract with Cigna was scheduled to expire Dec. 31, 2019, we agreed to extend the contract one final time, through April 30, 2020. This last extension will help avoid any disruption in our patients’ care over the holidays and will give people time to plan for SMH and FPG no longer being a part of Cigna’s network — including considering other plans if available.
We value our insurance partners and work diligently to maintain agreements with more than two-dozen providers in this region. Every few years, we collaboratively review and update those agreements. We have given Cigna ample time to work with us on a new contract — and several extensions — but the insurer refuses to agree to standard provisions that are necessary to protect patients and the health system from unfair claims denials and coverage decisions impacting patients’ ability to access care. These basic protections are included in our contracts with other major insurance partners.
We encourage Cigna members to visit www.smh.com/cigna for an FAQ, and click here for a list of health insurance companies with which SMH will have agreements as of May 1, 2020. First Physicians Group patients can click here for a list of insurance companies that FPG will have agreements with effective May 1.