CHARLOTTE — Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates and UnitedHealthcare will be ending their relationship in the middle of May after the parties couldn’t agree on a new contract.
Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke says here’s what it means for you: If you have United and want to go to CEENTA from May 15 on, CEENTA won’t be in-network anymore. So you’ll have two choices: pay out of pocket or find new ENT doctors.
A patient told Stoogenke the doctor’s office sent her a message, saying “supply and staffing costs” have gone up a lot, but that United wants to reimburse the provider less, not more. The note goes on to say that “ultimately it was decided that the best path forward was to end our relationship.”
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United told Stoogenke, “CEENTA is demanding a more than 15% rate increase over the next two years despite already having some of the highest costs in the state compared to physician groups providing similar services. We have negotiated in good faith and are proposing rate increases to help ensure CEENTA continues to be fairly reimbursed. We await CEENTA’s first counterproposal since issuing a notice in December to end our contract.”
This may sound familiar. Stoogenke has reported on two other contract disputes involving United and Charlotte doctors in the last few years.
First, United and Providence Anesthesiology Associates couldn’t agree on a new contract back in 2020. What makes that situation even more complicated is Novant Health contracts exclusively with Providence Anesthesiology Associates for all anesthesiology at Novant’s Charlotte locations.
So now, if you have United and have surgery at a Novant facility specifically in Charlotte, you don’t have any in-network anesthesiologists to choose from.
Second, United and CaroMont Health have a contract in place right now, but it expires April 1 and they’re having trouble agreeing on a new one for after that.
If you have United specifically through your employer and you use certain CaroMont facilities, including the Regional Medical Center, you would have to pay out-of-network prices or switch doctors starting in April. Emergencies would still be in-network.
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