— Indiana University Health and insurer UnitedHealthcare said Thursday
they have ended a more than monthlong stalemate and reached a contract
agreement that affects up to 400,000 Hoosiers with insurance through the
IU Health said
the new 2-year provider contract will be retroactive to Jan. 1, when the
old contract expired. The agreement means IU Health's physicians and
facilities are again in-network providers in UnitedHealthcare insurance
"While we are
pleased to have reached an agreement with UnitedHealthcare, it's
unfortunate that our patients experienced any unnecessary stress or
inconvenience," IU Health chief medical officer Dr. John C. Kohne said in
Under the deal,
UnitedHealthcare's 400,000 covered members in Indiana will be able to
access IU Health's hospital and doctor network without being billed for
higher out-of-network fees.
IU Health runs
the state's largest hospital network, with 20 hospitals and 1,500 doctors.
said in a statement it will be finalizing the agreement's details in the
days ahead "so that our members continue to have uninterrupted access to
care and we are able to maintain our relationship with this valued
hospital and physician group."
between UnitedHealthcare and IU Health had failed to yield a new contract
before the existing contract expired on Dec. 31. But IU Health had allowed
UnitedHealthcare patients a special "in-network" status to help avoid a
disruption of health care services.
spokesman Whitney Ertel told The Indianapolis Star that under the new
contract there will "virtually be no changes (for patients) — the same
hospitals and doctors, same billing, same practices and procedures."
Neither side has
discussed what points led to the stalemate in contract negotiations. But
IU Health President Dan Evans suggested in a statement earlier this week
that UnitedHealthcare was insisting on IU Health lowering its rates more
than it was willing to go.
statement, IU Health said "both parties have made concessions to reach
Many health care
providers and health benefits companies are reworking their business
models and relationships to adapt to new rules under President Barack
Obama's health care law and the creation of the regionally based insurance