Augusta Health asks community to "Stand With Us"

AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va (WHSV) — Following their first week of being completely out of network with Anthem insurance, Augusta Health is now asking the community for support as they take a stand.

The hospital is now promoting their online petition against Anthem with the slogan "Stand with Us," asking community members affected by the contract negotiations to voice their concerns.

After launching the petition more than three weeks ago, it has accumulated over 6,500 signatures.

Mark LaRosa, chief strategy officer for the hospital, said they have been overwhelmed by the support as they fight for what they believe the hospital deserves.

"We recognize this community asset is very important for this community," LaRosa said, "and so we're taking a stand on that and we greatly appreciate the community standing behind us."

LaRosa said before sending the petition to Anthem, they hope to get at least 10,000 signatures. If they can reach their goal, LaRosa believes it will send a strong message to Anthem.

"I think when you start to get into those kinds of numbers and you start to compare those to the size of the population, the number of Anthem members in the market, that starts to get pretty significant," LaRosa said.

LaRosa said the hospital is hoping to sit down with Anthem some time next week to continue negotiations.

We have reached out to Anthem and are waiting to hear back.