Lexington Clinic says it regrets loss of Aetna customers

Lexington Clinic said Wednesday that it had negotiated for a new contract with insurance provider Aetna since June before announcing Sunday that it was dropping Aetna patients.

A statement issued by the clinic, which is Lexington's dominant physicians' group, said "it recently became apparent that an agreement could not be reached."

Still, the statement noted that Lexington Clinic "is always open to further negotiations with insurance providers."

The clinic announced in a newspaper ad on Sunday that Aetna customers would be cut off from its ambulatory surgery services effective Feb. 1 and from physician services on June 1.

Aetna, which has 20,000 customers in 11 Central Kentucky counties, said on Monday that ambulatory surgery rates were at the heart of the dispute between the two companies. Employees of the Herald-Leader are among its 10,967 customers in Fayette County.

Lexington Clinic has posted a Q&A for Aetna patients at its Web site,