Augusta Health creates online petition as Anthem negotiations continue

FISHERSVILLE, Va. (WHSV) — As negotiations continue between Augusta Health and Anthem insurance, the hospital is now rallying the support of the community with an online petition.

Mark LaRosa, vice president of business development for the hospital, said Augusta Health has received an incredible amount of support from the community.

"A number of people have come to us and said 'what can I do to help? How can I be a part of this,?'" said LaRosa.

Last week, the hospital launched an online petition to collect signatures in support of their stance against Anthem. Before the hospital even shared the petition on their Facebook page, it had been signed over a thousand times.

"The numbers went higher much quicker than we anticipated and we expect them to continue once the word gets out and people know that we want them to go out there and express their opinion," said LaRosa.

LaRosa said they hope to get as many signatures as possible and they have not yet set a limit on how many signatures they want to reach.

As of January 22, the petition had garnered over 3,600 signatures.

When they do send the petition to Anthem, LaRosa said they hope it sends an important message.

"We hope that they look at this as the community's concern, that they take this seriously," said LaRosa. "That they say 'okay,' that the community is very concerned about losing Augusta Health as an in network option."

As the deadline for the hospital's physician's contract with Anthem fast approaches, the hospital continues to help patients who have Anthem insurance at their member assistance center.

"At the end of the day, we want to be in network," said LaRosa. "I think Anthem wants us in network, and I just hope we can find a solution."

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