According to a statement issued by Catawba Valley Medical Center (CVMC), UnitedHealthcare (UHC) has provided notice to CVMC that they will be terminating the contract for hospital-based services effective October 1, 2021. This termination means that thousands of UnitedHealthcare members in the region would no longer be considered in-network at CVMC.
The statement, which is available in the form of a press release at the hospital’s website, says that CVMC leadership has worked tirelessly and in earnest to come to an agreement that would meet UnitedHealthcare’s desire to lower hospital reimbursement while still ensuring the hospital receives adequate compensation to cover the cost of care. Unfortunately, UnitedHealthcare proposals would cause millions of dollars in losses for our health system and would cause harm to our patients and our ability to provide medical care for our community.
The statement says that CVMC has offered significant contract reductions to stop UHC from terminating the contract. It also says that UHC has been unwilling to accept CVMC’s concessions and are continuing to push for termination.
The news release says that CVMC is very disappointed that the largest health insurance company in the world, which earned approximately $22 billion in the last 12 months, has chosen to terminate the relationship during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also says that officials at the hospital have alerted our state and national authorities.
CVMC has seen the significant stress and financial hardship COVID-19 has created for many, and the health system will not allow patients to bear the additional burden of being caught in the middle of their insurance provider’s contract negotiation strategy.
Patients who are concerned about UnitedHealthcare’s actions should consider contacting their Human Resources department or Benefits Administrator and ask them to choose another health benefit plan that includes CVMC in the provider network. They may also call UnitedHealthcare at the Customer Care number listed on their ID card or at 1.800.328.5979 and ask them to withdraw their termination of CVMC and allow time for a fair and equitable negotiation.