January 1, 2020 marked the end of a twenty-one year relationship between Houston Methodist and UnitedHealthcare. After months of negotiations, they were unable to reach an agreement and renew their contract by the deadline of December 31st. This loss in partnership resulted in up to 100,000 plan members losing in-network access to the 8 Houston Methodist hospitals and multiple out-patient clinics. These individuals are now faced with the task of reassessing their healthcare and/or plan options.
Houston Methodist and UnitedHealthcare have both provided reasons explaining why an agreement could not be made. Houston Methodist argues that the cuts requested by UnitedHealthcare would impact the quality of care provided. However, UnitedHealthcare claims that Houston Methodist would not address their high costs and demanded higher reimbursements. Regardless of their reasoning, It is unfortunate for all the patients impacted because a compromise was not achieved.
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