Home News NewYork-Presbyterian and Aetna reach deal after patients faced losing coverage

NewYork-Presbyterian and Aetna reach deal after patients faced losing coverage

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The NewYork-Presbyterian health system has reached a deal with insurer Aetna just days before their contract was set to expire — staving off an expected loss of coverage for tens of thousands of patients.

The agreement will keep NewYork-Presbyterian’s 10 hospitals, array of clinics and thousands of physicians in Aetna’s network, according to officials with the health system.

“Both NewYork-Presbyterian and Aetna are pleased to come to an agreement that puts our patients first,” Angela Karafazli, a New York-Presbyterian spokesperson, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Neither NewYork-Presbyterian nor Aetna shared additional information about the new contract’s length or terms Wednesday.

The health system threatened to cut ties with Aetna in recent weeks over stalled contract negotiations and sent patients letters warning them that they could lose coverage for their health care providers. NewYork-Presbyterian said in a Feb. 26 letter that Aetna had “presented an unreasonable offer” and urged patients to talk to their employers about other insurance options.

If the insurer and health system had allowed their contract to expire at the end of the month, some NewYork-Presbyterian providers would have gone out of network for Aetna patients as soon as April 1.

The dispute mirrors a similar disagreement over reimbursement rates between UnitedHealthcare and Mount Sinai, also located in New York. That feud was resolved on Tuesday, but only after disrupting coverage for thousands of New Yorkers.

Aetna customer Sarah Digby said she was so relieved by news of the NewYork-Presbyterian deal that she wanted to cry when she heard about it from Gothamist. She’ll now be able to keep her care team within the hospital system, where she receives treatment for endometriosis.

But Digby also said she did not appreciate the emerging trend of hospitals and insurers involving patients in their contract negotiations.

“Patients should not feel like they’re pawns in a bidding war between these large health care institutions and these health insurance carriers,” she said. “I can’t go through this every year.”

She added that she had been losing sleep over the issue for weeks.

“We appreciate NewYork-Presbyterian and their partnership in this contract renewal discussion, and we continue to value the critical, long-standing provider relationship,” Alex Kepnes, a spokesperson for Aetna said in a statement on the deal.

He added that this continues a more than 30-year relationship between the two health care entities.

This story has been updated to reflect a statement from Aetna.

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