RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The not-for-profit health system, Bon Secours Mercy Health, and health insurer, Optima Health, have reached a negotiation standstill.

After several months of negotiations, both sides have recently released statements. Optima Health’s not-for-profit parent company, Sentara Healthcare, argues that Bon Secours is charging unreasonably increased prices. While Bon Secours claims that the price increase is a necessity of inflation.

According to a statement released by Sentara, Bon Secours has issued Optima Health a contract termination notice, potentially reducing access to care for more than 54,000 Virginians.

“Despite our repeated efforts to negotiate in good faith, Bon Secours Mercy Health has demanded unreasonable contract terms that will significantly increase the cost of care for our members,” said John Syer, Senior Vice President of Sentara. “Amid rising economic concerns, this is a time when we should come together, not break apart.”

In their own public notice, Bon Secours alleges that a number of their hospitals could be forced to leave Optima’s network as soon as March 1, 2023.

“What Optima pays our doctors, nurses and other caregivers has not kept up with inflation,” the Bon Secours website reads. “We don’t want any of our patients to lose access to their care and are doing everything we can to come to a fair agreement with Optima.”

The following Bon Secours hospitals, along with all Medical Group Practices could be affected:

  • Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital
  • Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center
  • Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center
  • Bon Secours Richmond Community Hospital
  • Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center and Bon Secours Mary Immaculate Hospital

“We continue to work with Bon Secours to negotiate appropriate market pricing and should we reach an agreement with them soon, their hospitals and specialists will remain in-network and available,” Syer said.