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N.H. Hospital: We Want into Network

Concord — A Rochester-based hospital asked Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny on Thursday to reconsider the decision by Anthem to exclude it from a narrower network to treat individuals buying coverage on the Obamacare exchange.

Alvin Felgar, CEO of Frisbie Memorial Hospital, said if the agency denies this request, he will sue the state in Stafford County Superior Court.

“What do I want? I want fair play here. I want an open process and the citizens of New Hampshire to understand why this decision was made,” Felgar told reporters.

“I think I have got an excellent case for my hospital.”

Southern New Hampshire Medical Center of Nashua was among the nine hospitals excluded from Anthem’s network.

In the Upper Valley, Anthem also excluded Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital, Valley Regional in Claremont and Cottage Hospital in Woodsville.

Felgar said his hospital has scored high on quality of care and competitive pricing ratings both in the state and nationally.

“We are suing the state because we think the state had a responsibility on the biggest health bill in this country,” Felgar said.

“Nobody is taking responsibility; the state is pointing to the feds and the feds are pointing to the state.”

Felgar said he contacted executives at the other excluded hospitals and none of them have decided to join this appeal.

“They did not want to join us,” Felgar said.

Felgar has brought his dispute to Gov. Maggie Hassan, key legislative leaders and the entire congressional delegation.

“My hospital was never ever contacted by Anthem to get our opinion or sit down with us to negotiate a contact,” Felgar added.

“We have repeatedly asked Anthem to discuss the subject and they have refused.”

Earlier this week, Anthem announced that 22,000 individuals with current individual policies can avoid joining the exchange by renewing their existing health care contract for another year.

They must make that decision by Nov. 15.

If these individuals renew they won’t be able to take advantage of tax credits and subsidies available to those who purchase coverage on the exchange.