Forida Hospital and UnitedHealthcare Contract Negotiations At a Stalemate
Sandy GrinnellJuly 23, 2010 3:07 PM
According to letters sent to Florida residents who have United Healthcare insurance, if a new contract with the Florida Hospital system is not reached by August 15th, Florida Hospital will no longer be accepting patients who are insured by United Healthcare.
The two entities have been at the bargaining table since last November and have yet to reach an agreement. It probably doesn't need to be stated, but the sticking point for both sides is money. Florida Hospital wants increased reimbursement rates and United Healthcare is not going for it. And it appears there will be no agreement before the August 15th deadline.
And who gets the brunt of this stalemate? The patient of course. Doctors who are employed by Florida Hospital who have been treating United Healthcare customers will now be considered out-of-network. This means that there is either no reimbursement for medical services provided by them, or it is a ridiculously low reimbursement rate so as to make it unaffordable.
If the patient's doctor does not have hospital privileges with any other facility, the patient's only course of action is to change doctors. This situation can be devastating to a patient who is in the middle of treating a serous ailment, or to someone who has a long-standing relationship with their doctor.
When will those in the healthcare profession realize that it's not all about the dollars and cents? There are real people being affected by those who are making these decisions and the patient is being held hostage as a result.