Independence Blue Cross, Philadelphia is suing 194-bed Grand View Hospital in Sellersville, Pa., for "tortious interference, commercial disparagement, breach of duty to negotiate in good faith, libel and slander."
The case is one of the first examples of a contract dispute between an insurer and a hospital escalating into litigation.
Grand View officials, who are in the midst of contract negotiations with the insurer, said the papers were filed July 2 in Common Pleas Court in Philadelphia and served on them on July 16. The contract originally due to expire June 30 had been extended to the end of July. Next to Medicare, IBC is by far the hospital's largest payer.
Chief Executive Officer Stuart Fine estimated that $28 million of the hospital's $90 million operating budget is spent on caring for IBC enrollees. At deadline, officials at the Blues plan had not returned a phone call for comment.