WakeMed, Insurer Reach Deal

Four months after a dispute led to a split, WakeMed and UnitedHealthcare have reached a deal in which patients
covered by the insurer can use WakeMed hospitals and clinics.

The new, three-year deal took effect on Sunday. The terms of the
deal haven't been disclosed.

UnitedHealthcare ended its relationship with WakeMed on March
first because the hospital system wouldn't agree to charging the
insurer rates comparable to those paid by Blue Cross Blue Shield of
North Carolina.

At the time, WakeMed officials said prices are based on how much
business an insurer brings into the hospital and that it couldn't
afford to give UnitedHealthcare a better deal.

UnitedHealthcare patients who used WakeMed in recent months had
to pay out-of-network charges, although the hospital system picked
up the extra expenses for some patients on a case-by-case basis.


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