The feud between one of the Tampa Bay region's biggest insurers and health care providers is over.
Late Friday, UnitedHealthcare and BayCare Health System announced they have reached a new, five-year agreement.
The two companies had fought over reimbursement rates. Their battle played out in a series of advertisements in local newspapers.
In late November, the agreement between the two entities ended, leaving thousands of customers wondering if they'd have to switch doctors or go to a different hospital.
The agreement is retroactive, meaning that anyone insured by United Healthcare who visited a BayCare provider in the last two months will have their bills covered as usual.
There still aren't a lot of details about the agreement. See the entire press release from UnitedHealthcare below.
UNITEDHEALTHCARE AND BAYCARE HEALTH SYSTEM FINALIZE NEW, MULTIYEAR RELATIONSHIP
UnitedHealthcare plan participants receive uninterrupted in-network benefits coverage
TAMPA (Jan. 18, 2013) — UnitedHealthcare and BayCare Health System have signed a new, five-year agreement, providing hundreds of thousands of residents in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area renewed in-network access to BayCare’s 10 hospitals, ancillary facilities and nearly 400 hospital-employed physicians.
The agreement covers people participating in any UnitedHealthcare medical plan, including Medicare, Medicaid, Florida Healthy Kids, individual and employer-sponsored programs. The new arrangement is effective November 26, 2012, ensuring uninterrupted in-network benefits coverage for all UnitedHealthcare plan participants who may have visited a BayCare facility or physician during the interim period. The agreement also supports improved health care outcomes by providing a framework for continued discussions between the parties to further strengthen the coordination, quality and efficiency of care delivered to area residents.
“BayCare is an important provider of health care services to the Tampa community. Our renewed network relationship gives all UnitedHealthcare plan participants access to quality medical facilities and skilled physicians close to where they live and work,” said David Lewis, CEO, North/Central Florida, UnitedHealthcare. “We are glad to have developed a five-year relationship and framework for further health advancement that benefits Florida residents and supports both organizations’ mission to provide access to affordable, high quality care.”
UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, serves more than 2.7 million people throughout Florida with a care provider network of more than 230 hospitals and 28,500 physicians statewide.
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