Houston Methodist, UnitedHealthcare split affects 100,000

Houston Methodist facilities and physicians are no longer a part of UnitedHealthcare's network, a change that may require 100,000 patients to seek new providers, according to local news station Click2Houston.

The organizations were unable to agree on reimbursement rates before a Dec. 31 deadline. As of Jan. 1, Houston Methodist's seven hospitals and outpatient clinics are no longer considered in-network facilities for UnitedHealthcare commercial and Medicare Advantage policyholders.

In a statement to Click2Houston, Houston Methodist blamed UnitedHealthcare for proposing rate cuts and prioritizing profits over patients.

"Houston Methodist had a contract in place with United for 21 years before they abruptly gave notice of termination a few months ago, creating confusion among our 100,000 patients insured by United," the health system said. "Although Houston Methodist negotiated in earnest, an agreement was not reached by the Jan. 1, 2020 deadline and now those Medicare Advantage and commercial patients must search for new doctors and new facilities."

UnitedHealthcare, the health insurance arm of UnitedHealth Group, argued Houston Methodist charges significantly more than other area providers, which leads to higher healthcare costs for its members.

"Care at Houston Methodist Hospital is significantly more expensive than care at other top-ranked hospitals in Texas as well as some of the most prestigious hospitals in the entire country," UnitedHealthcare said in a statement to Click2Houston. "Every time we attempted to reach a compromise during the negotiations, Methodist responded with proposals showing that it is intent on maintaining its position as one of the most expensive health systems in the country."

Read the full report here.

More articles on payers:
BCBS of Tennessee specialty drug change brings physician backlash
Georgia health system, Anthem near payment agreement
The $0 deductible: How one union curbed the cost of health coverage

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2020. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.

 

Featured Webinars

Featured Whitepapers