ELLSWORTH — Last minute negotiations on Monday have resulted in an agreement between Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Maine Coast Memorial Hospital that will keep the hospital in Anthem’s network of health care providers through the end of 2009.

The agreement was reached after a three-hour meeting in Bangor on Monday, the day before the current contract would have expired. The contract, which has been extended twice during negotiations between the two parties, would have expired at midnight tonight.

According to a press statement, the new contract, which already has been signed by both parties, will be in effect through Dec. 31, 2009. The hospital and Anthem will continue to discuss future contract terms for the period beyond that time.

No other terms of the contract will be released. Neither party would discuss the agreement beyond statements made in a press release.

“We are pleased to have reached a mutually agreeable contract with Maine Coast Memorial Hospital so that our members can continue to use the hospital for high-quality care,” Anthem President Dan Corcoran said in a prepared statement. “We have negotiated a contract which we believe serves the best interest of our members.”

Maine Coast President and CEO Douglas Jones said the agreement will allow the hospital to continue to serve all the patients insured through Anthem.

“With this contract, we will be able to continue to provide medical care to all of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s members without any interruption of or changes in service,” Jones said in the press release. “Our goal is to provide the best care possible for the people in the communities we serve.”