Staff Report

Many Central Coast residents can keep their current doctors and hospital services as Anthem Blue Cross and Dignity Health announced they reached an agreement for a multi-year contract. 

“This is a win for our patients who deserve access to high-quality, high-value healthcare services close to home, and we appreciate their patience as we have worked through this process,” Dignity Health officials said in a press release. 

Dignity Health said they were able to reach the agreement before the old one expired, so there was no lapse in network status for the hospitals and their providers. Their pricing dispute lasted for almost a month, which could have left many in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties struggling to find a new healthcare provider. 

Dignity Health hospitals include Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo and Arroyo Grande Community Hospital. 

“We know these negotiations were stressful for our patients, our medical staffs, the communities we serve, and our own team,” the press release said. “We sincerely appreciate patients’ understanding during the negotiations.” 

All Anthem claims were held so patients shouldn’t have any impact on their bills in anticipation of reaching an agreement. 

The agreement is retroactive to July 15 and will remain in place through April 30, 2025, according to the press release.