Sufferers Caught In Center As UnitedHealthcare Drops Montefiore Well being System Amid Contract Negotiations – CBS New York
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Five New York Congressmen urge UnitedHealthcare to break contract negotiations with the Montefiore hospital system.
The dispute forced 60,000 patients to find new health care providers in the middle of a pandemic.
At midnight on January 1st, it wasn’t just the ball that was dropped in Times Square. Also Montefiore Health System from the UnitedHealthcare network.
“It’s almost like a full-time job trying to find all the new vendors,” said Sara Louise Petty of Larchmont. “They are all my doctors. Dermatologist, gynecologist, family doctor, ENT, you name it. “
Petty now has about seven new doctors to find – not just for her but for her family as well.
“A lot of doctors don’t take in new patients, maybe because we’re in a global pandemic,” she said.
“It has severely affected our ability to care for patients I have looked after for nearly 25 years,” said Dr. Amy Eisenberg, Pediatrician at Scarsdale Medical Group.
UnitedHealthcare and Montefiore were negotiating a new contract when the old one expired.
United said it had offered to extend the current one for five months while they were negotiating, but Montefiore said no.
Colleen Blye is Executive Vice President and CFO of Montefiore Medicine.
“We thought it would be in our patients’ best interests to close the deal instead of expanding the unknown,” she said.
“Montefiore has requested a 28% increase over the next three years,” said Michael McGuire, UnitedHealthcare CEO of New York Commercial Business. “It’s really unsustainable to ask about such increases in the next three years. Montefiore’s commercial prices are the highest in New York City. “
“We only asked for single-digit annual increases that are in line with our other payer relationships,” said Blye.
While United says talks will continue, Blye said, “We can’t even get them to speak to us.”
Jeffrey Dinowitz, New York State Representative, posted a letter to UnitedHealthcare CEO calling on the company to end the dispute.
“It seems to me that UnitedHealthcare is putting people, who are among the hardest hit by this pandemic, at increased medical risk just because they don’t believe they are making enough money. End this argument. As one of the richest companies in the world, help keep people alive. Don’t sell off the Bronx just to replenish the bank accounts of you and your shareholders, ”wrote Dinowitz.
Patients like Petty are caught in the middle.
“To be honest, I blame both of them,” she said.
She should be doing an important scan but is now looking for a new place to do it.
“The health system shouldn’t work with greed. It should be what is best for the patient, ”Petty said.
“During a pandemic, some people delay health care and need to find new doctors. What do you think of these members?” Asked Alice Gainer from CBS2.
“We want to make sure they know if they have access to other doctors in the market or to other facilities in the market and help them find those doctors,” said McGuire.
Some members may request continuity of care from UnitedHealthcare to remain under the care of Montefiore doctors, such as if you are pregnant or receiving cancer treatment.
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