Minding Your Business

Reporter Tad Sooter keeps tabs on the West Sound economy, nonprofits and health care.
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Statements from the Harrison/UnitedHealthcare split

December 18th, 2013 by Tad Sooter

As we reported in today’s paper, Harrison Medical Center has been dropped from UnitedHealthcare’s network after contract negotiations failed. The two sides gave differing versions of why the talks broke down.

The letters Harrison sent to affected patients explaining the changes are embedded below (or can be viewed here and here). Here’s the statement sent to us by a UnitedHealthcare spokesperson:

UnitedHealthcare is committed to providing our members access to quality health care through a broad network of physicians and hospitals at affordable rates. We extended a good-faith contract offer to Harrison Medical Center that provides value and allows us to maintain affordable health care options for our members in Washington. Unfortunately, Harrison Medical Center requested rates 24 percent higher than what our competitors pay. While we are disappointed we were not able to reach an agreement, we cannot allow our members to be disadvantaged.

Our members can be assured that other hospitals in the area of Harrison Medical Center are able to provide the same quality health care at rates that are consistent with market trends.

We are working with our members to ensure continuity of care per their benefit plans. As always, in an emergency situation, members should go to the nearest hospital whether they are in or out of network.

We encourage our members to call the number on their member ID card to speak with a representative of our customer care team if they have any questions.

We will continue to engage in good-faith discussions with Harrison Medical Center in the hope of reaching a mutual agreement that allows us to continue offering affordable, quality health care products to our members.

Here are the letters sent by Harrison to affected patients:

UHC Letter[3] by tsooter

UHC Update Letter[1] by tsooter

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