UnitedHealthcare could pay more for UAB services al.com UAB Medical West Hospital About 25,000 UAB patients will be affected if UAB and UnitedHealthcare do not come to a contract agreement by July 30. Service coverage will continue as normal through July 30. If no agreement is reached, on July 31 patients may be responsible for paying out of network costs. The change would include UAB Hospital, The Kirklin Clinic of UAB Hospital and all other UAB Medicine primary care, specialty care and urgent care clinics, UA Health Services Foundation, UAB Callahan Eye Hospital, Medical West and Baptist Health in Montgomery. It also includes all services provided by UAB doctors, regardless of where the service is provided. We will continue to diligently negotiate with UnitedHealthcare in good faith, as we desire to continue to be a participating provider and to continue making the highest quality of care available to our patients and all of Alabama, said UAB Health System CEO Will Ferniany. The two have been negotiating for several months and are still working towards an agreement. Why havent they reached an agreement yet? UnitedHealthcare said the cost of care at UAB is more than double the cost of the average reimbursement at all other hospitals across Alabama that participate in UnitedHealthcares network and is significantly more expensive than other academic medical centers. UnitedHealthcare also said a CT Scan at UAB Hospital is more than three times the cost of the average reimbursement compared to all other hospitals across Alabama in its network. It also said a EKG and MRI cost more than double. In comparing pricing for hospital services in Alabama to other states, UAB said United ignores that Alabama has long held one of the lowest reimbursement rates in the nation and is among the lowest paid when accounting for the severity and clinical complexity of patients seen and the resources required to care for them. Of course we are more expensive than community hospitals and less complex organizations offering less comprehensive services, Ferniany said. We treat sicker patients and serve Alabama in ways no other institution does. UAB said it more expensive because: In spite of the UAB Health Systems unique benefits, UnitedHealthcare has insisted on designating UAB as a lower, tier 2 provider, Ferniany said. We have never been tier 2 at anything. UAB said this tier 2 designation would make United policyholders pay more to come to UAB while United would pay less. We cannot allow UnitedHealthcares demands to force us into an agreement that weakens our ability to deliver care to those who count on us, Ferniany said. Ferniany said that while UnitedHealthcare holds less than 6 percent of the insurance market in Alabama, United generates more cash profit than all other national publicly traded health plans in America combined. We regret that UnitedHealthcare has put us into a position that causes anxiety for our patients, and we are working to reach a reasonable agreement through ongoing discussions, Ferniany said. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our and 2019 Alabama Media Group. All rights reserved . The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Alabama Media Group. apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site.