Officials with Dayton-based Premier Health say contract talks with UnitedHealthCare continue despite an ongoing dispute over terms. Unless an agreement is reached, nearly 70,000 Premier patients with insurance through UnitedHealth will have to find new in-network providers.
Negotiations recently broke down over a disagreement between UnitedHealthcare and Premier over a push by the insurance giant to rank hospitals and providers based on cost and quality. Premier officials say the tiered system discourages customers from using Premier providers.
Mark Shaw, Vice President of Managed Care for Premier Health, says both companies were still in contact as of last Friday and hopes that, even though the contract deadline has passed, negotiators will be able to reach an agreement.
"We want to get a deal with UnitedHealthcare because we think that’s important for our patients and important for this community, so we always have the door open,” he said.
Shaw says UnitedHealth policyholders with Medicare Advantage plans will still be covered through the end of this year. Premier is also offering temporary flat office-visit fees to help other patients who want to continue seeing Premier doctors.