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Conway Regional could be seeing insurance change soon

Hundreds of people in Conway will no longer be in-network for United Healthcare if Conway Regional and United don't reach an agreement by July 1.

CONWAY, Ark. — People in Conway could lose in-network insurance with United Healthcare soon if Conway Regional and the insurance agency don't reach a new agreement.

This comes after months of contract discussions between United and Conway Regional.

"We have 180 days to work out a new agreement that would go into effect July 1st," Conway Regional CEO, Matt Troup said.

He explained that they've had an agreement with United Healthcare for several years and now need to increase payment rates with United to keep up with the rising cost of care. 

"Our financial position has deteriorated significantly with the rise of costs brought on by the pandemic, the greatest pandemic in 100 years has risen costs over 30% from 2019," Troup described.

He said if they accept United's current offer then it could negatively impact their services. 

"If our payment rate with United and with any payer continues to be below market, then it's impossible to have at market rates for hospital staff to have at market tools and equipment that patients need for care," he added.

Some patients may have to turn to other healthcare providers. 

"Patients are going to have to reestablish a relationship with a new provider, go to a different hospital at a nonaffiliated non-Conway Regional facility if they need care," he said.

A spokesperson for United Healthcare said what Conway Regional is requesting isn't affordable or sustainable for the people and businesses they serve. 

In a statement, the insurance agency said, "We are proposing meaningful rate increases that help ensure the health system is reimbursed at more than fair and reasonable rates and remain committed to continued discussions with Conway Regional in an effort to reach an agreement that is affordable for the people and employers we serve."

"Our aim here is to get a deal done that gets Conway regional to market, which I think is the fair and reasonable thing to do," said Troup.

He also added that nothing is set in stone as of right now, and hopes to reach an agreement soon to keep United Healthcare.

If they don't reach an agreement, they will not be in-network starting July 1.

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