UnitedHealthcare, Baptist Health split

UnitedHealthcare went out of network with Little Rock, Ark.-based Baptist Health's hospitals and providers after the payer and health system were unable to reach a new contract. 

The move affects UnitedHealthcare beneficiaries with employer-sponsored and individual commercial plans, Medicare Advantage and group retiree plans, and Dual Special Needs Plans, according to a Jan. 2 news release from the payer. 

UnitedHealthcare accused Baptist of seeking an "unreasonable rate request" that would have significantly driven up healthcare costs for its beneficiaries. 

Baptist Health said in a Dec. 20 news release that it was working for several months to secure a new contract but made little progress. Baptist said many Medicare Advantage plans, including UnitedHealthcare, routinely deny or delay approval or payment for Medicare recommended by physicians. 

"We believe your need for medical care should be determined by you and your doctor, not an insurance company," Baptist said in the release.

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