UnitedHealthCare Update

Harris Regional Hospital takes seriously our commitment to provide patients and the community with access to high-quality, high-value care. Our team of physicians, nurses and other caregivers and employees is invested in the health of this region because it's our home. 

Over the last several months, we have been negotiating with UnitedHealthcare in good faith to reach a new contract for our employed physicians' services. Unfortunately, we have been unable to reach a fair agreement, and we are disappointed that our physician services* contract for UnitedHealthcare insurance plans will end on January 1, 2019. 

As a result, beginning January 1, 2019, Harris Regional Hospital Physician Practices' employed physicians' services will no longer be considered "in-network" with UnitedHealthcare insurance plans. Please know, Harris Regional Hospital remains "in-network" UnitedHealthcare and continues to serve UnitedHealthcare insured patients.

What this means for UnitedHealthcare Patients

  • For AARP sponsored Medicare Advantage Patients, you can still switch your coverage to an "in-network" plan during the Open Enrollment Period (January 1st -- March 31st), even if you are currently enrolled in a plan for 2019. Call MedicareCompareUSA at 855.582.3838 to learn more about plans "in-network" with our employed physicians.
  • You may still have access to Harris Regional's employed physicians through your "out-of-network benefit." Check your benefit plan design or call the UnitedHealthcare phone number found on the back of your insurance card to learn more.  
  • If you do not have an "out-of-network" benefit you may experience higher out-of-pocket costs for Harris Regional's physician services. Please call the UnitedHealthcare phone number found on the back of your insurance card for more information on your "out-of-network" costs and to urge UnitedHealthcare to negotiate a fair contract to remain "in-network" with Harris Regional's employed physicians. 
  • Many patients in active treatment or with certain illnesses can continue receiving care with "in-network" benefits through their continuity of care benefit. For example, women who are pregnant through six weeks post-delivery or patients with cancer may qualify. Patients can apply at www.uhc.com/continuity-of-care. 
  • If you have additional questions, please call our team at 828-586-7888, option 3.  

Harris Regional, like all hospitals, works with insurance companies to receive payment for the care we provide our patients. Fair agreements with insurance companies are vital to our ability to continue to reinvest in patient care by recruiting new physicians and caregivers and enhancing the services we provide. 

We consider it an honor and a privilege to care for the community and are aiming to ensure all patients have access to the care they need, when they need it and from the providers they rely on regularly. Ensuring that we can continue meeting the community's healthcare needs is a top priority in our discussions with UnitedHealthcare.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience you may experience. Please know that we are actively working toward a resolution and will continue to keep you updated as we move forward. 

*Please note, the contract termination is between UnitedHealthcare's insurance plans and Harris Regional's employed physicians and select Duke LifePoint Healthcare facilities. It does not affect Duke University Health System hospitals or clinics. 
**MedicareCompareUSA is an independent third party not affiliated with Duke University Health System or Duke LifePoint Healthcare. 

Special Message for Retired State Employees: 

For North Carolina state retirees, UnitedHealthcare's Medicare Advantage plan allows you to receive services from Harris Regional Hospital's employed physicians regardless of our contract status with UnitedHealthcare. The state retiree plan has the same out-of-pocket expense for "in-network" and "out-of-network" providers. As a result, you will see no changes in your health insurance coverage.