UnitedHealthcare, New Mexico health system hit contract impasse

Contract negotiations have stalled between UnitedHealthcare and Albuquerque, N.M.-based Lovelace Health System, the Albuquerque Journal reported Nov. 26.

Lovelace operates five hospitals and 51 clinics across New Mexico. According to a system spokesperson, a break between the two organizations could affect up to 13,400 UnitedHealthcare members, including 9,700 Medicare Advantage patients. 

"We want to keep Lovelace in our network, but, if we're unable to reach an agreement, our members will continue to have access to a broad network of hospitals and physicians in New Mexico, including UNM and Presbyterian," a UnitedHealthcare spokesperson told the newspaper.

On Jan. 1,  Lovelace Medical Center, Heart Hospital of New Mexico at Lovelace Medical Center, Lovelace Women's Hospital and Lovelace Westside Hospital will be out of network for Medicare Advantage and group retiree plans. The New Mexico Heart Institute will also go out of network with commercial and individual plans. On Jan. 15, all plans will go out of network with Lovelace Regional Hospital in Roswell. On March 1, Lovelace physicians will go out of network for all plans.

Medicare supplement plans and access to Lovelace UNM Rehabilitation Hospital will not be affected, according to the report.

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