FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – While negotiations continue between Community Medical Centers and Anthem Blue Cross, Fresno County officials announced Monday that its employees once again have access to Community Medical Center hospitals and Community Health Partners’ practices after a direct contract was signed.

Fresno County announced that the San Joaquin Valley Insurance Authority (SJVIA) has signed a direct contract with Community Health System.

Officials say this direct contract means all Fresno County employees covered by the Anthem Blue Cross health plan benefits can receive services provided at Community Medical Center hospitals and Community Health Partners’ practices at in-network rates, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2023.

“Fresno County is committed to ensuring access to quality healthcare to all of our
employees,” said Paul Nerland, Fresno County Administrative Officer. “While negotiations
between Anthem Blue Cross and Community are ongoing, we’re pleased this solution
will offer our employees the care they seek.”

Since the fall of 2022, Community Medical Center and Anthem Blue Cross have been in
active negotiations to reach an agreement to provide quality healthcare services for
Fresno County employees, officials say. County officials say they are hopeful those negotiations will result in an agreement that mutually benefits both parties.

In the meantime, officials say the direct contract between SJVIA and Community Health System has provided a much-needed solution for 3,800 Fresno County employees.

For people outside of this agreement or similar direct contracts, the health plan agreement between Anthem Blue Cross and Community Health System expired on 12/31/2022. That means that anyone with Anthem Blue Cross health insurance attempting to receive treatment at a Community Health System facility (such as Community Regional Medical Center, Clovis Community Medical Center or Fresno Heart & Surgical Hospital) will be classified as having an out-of-network provider.