KINGSPORT — Wellmont Medical Associates and UnitedHealthcare have reached agreement on a new contract that will enable patients with the Medicare Advantage insurance plan to continue receiving in-network rates.
The agreement will enable the two organizations to seamlessly transition from one contract to another and enable patients with this health plan to remain with their current in-network Wellmont Medical Associates provider, according to a Wellmont news release.
Wellmont Medical Associates and UnitedHealthcare have negotiated for months and had recently reached an impasse.
That led Wellmont Medical Associates to inform the public that it would no longer be an in-network provider, effective Jan. 1, for the Medicare Advantage plan so that members could explore other insurance options.
“We appreciate our patients for their understanding as negotiations continued until this agreement was reached,” said John Howard, president and CEO of Wellmont Medical Associates. “Throughout this process, our organization has been focused on the best interests of our patients, and we worked hard to develop alternatives on the Medicare Advantage program.
“What is most pleasing about this resolution is our patients will continue to enjoy the access they desire to our high-quality physicians.”
Other plans between UnitedHealthcare and Wellmont Medical Associates as well as all plans between this health insurance provider and the Wellmont CVA Heart Institute and the hospitals and other facilities of Wellmont Health System were never affected.
“We are grateful our patients have entrusted their care to our physicians and are pleased to serve them,” Howard said. “As a regional leader in the delivery of superior health care across a number of disciplines, we look forward to continuing to empower our patients to reach optimal health.”