OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Negotiations are underway between OU Health and United Healthcare, but an agreement did not meet United Healthcare’s May 1 deadline, and it now refuses to treat these patients at OU Health.
According to a United Healthcare spokesperson, OU Health issued a notice in October 2021, canceling the contract at the end of the contract, along with a request for rate increases.
The first notice to warn the UHC policyholder was sent in March and another in April.
Dr. Robert Mannel, director of the OU Health Stephenson Center, told KFOR that the university had called for “low rates” to deal with inflation and the effects of covid-19. “Even with these modest increases, we would not be able to compare them with the increase in staff costs compared to previous years.”
OU Health initially called for a 40% increase in the three-year rate, which would increase health care spending for Oklahoma by $ 49 million.
That request was denied by United Healthcare.
Since then, OU Health has made at least five counter-proposals to lower the required rates, according to Dr. Mannel.
The latest request is a one-year deal that would make the hospital 34% more expensive than other Oklahoma City hospitals.
“This is not cheap or sustainable for Oklahoma,” added UHC spokesman Spencer Leuning.
UHC released a statement on its website about the ongoing negotiations with OU Health, stating:
“Throughout the negotiation, OU Health’s requirements would increase premiums and out-of-pocket costs for our members, as well as the cost of doing business for companies that want to provide cheap health coverage to their employees.”
The statement also said the current OU proposal would directly raise the costs of health care for self-insured clients because those employees pay the cost of the workers ’medical bulls themselves instead of relying on the UHC to pay those claims. At Okla., 71% of UHC members are enrolled in self-insured plans.
OU Health opposes this statement by saying that they are demanding a contract to follow the growing needs of patients.
April Sandefer, OU Health’s Director of Communications, told UHC that OU Health is demanding a 39% reduction in doctors ’fees and a 20% reduction in facilities. “Such a reduction is not sustainable for our mission and is unacceptable for our doctors, nurses and our patient care.”
OU Health has stated that the UHC is not responding to requests to discuss the follow-up of patient care. OU also states that UHC has not responded to OU’s permission to return to its network.
However, UHC urges OU Health to accept its latest proposal to restore network access for these patients.
As negotiations continue, patients like Kelley Beard are struggling to find a new doctor.
Beard has undergone two operations on his back, one in November 2021 and the other in May 2022. He will have to do two more surgeries this year to make sure his back is fully united, but because United Healthcare is no longer online. , can’t set his last date.
Beard told KFOR that he was disappointed to hear what was going on between OU Health and United Healthcare, as he was listening to the medical stories of other patients and how they could not be treated.
Beard is doing his homework for other doctors around the day to find another one to take care of. He has two in his head but has not yet settled on one.
OU another patient, Andrew Heyn is having the same struggle trying to find someone, but he would rather have the same doctor manage his records than start with someone new.
“I was late. You pay for your health insurance, and you don’t expect us to honor it any more, ”Heyn said.
He is in contact with Heyn United Healthcare to evaluate his options. Looking at his experience with OU Health, he said he felt “a different number” and not “a caring patient”.
Meanwhile, Dr. Mannel said OU Health has been providing follow-up care for all United Healthcare patients for three months, but that will only include office visits.
Thousands of United Healthcare patients can no longer be seen at OU Health
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