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Frequently Asked Questions

What is happening between OU Health and United Healthcare?

OU Health has been in active negotiations with UnitedHealthcare (UHC) since November 1, 2021. We are committed to working in good faith to reach an agreement. We know a fair, long-term partnership with UHC is critical to serving our patients. However, we remain far apart in negotiations and are anticipating our Oklahoma City hospitals and hospital-based clinics being out of network on May 1, 2022, and Oklahoma City-based providers being out of network on July 1, 2022.

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Why is this happening? Why is OU Health negotiating a new contract?

What we are asking is simple – for a contract that keeps pace with the increasing needs of our patients and our ability to deliver unique and lifesaving therapies to the state and region.

UHC is asking OU Health to take a 39 percent rate cut for our physicians and 20 percent rate cut for our facilities at a time when their profits have hit record highs, growing by $10 billion last year. A decrease of this kind is simply not sustainable to our mission and is unacceptable to our physicians, nurses and patients.

While we remain hopeful that we will be able to reach an agreement, negotiations remain far apart regarding fair contract rates. OU Health is asking to be compensated fairly for the services we provide.

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What happens if OU Health is not able to reach an agreement with United Healthcare?

If we are unable to reach an agreement by April 30, 2022, all of our Oklahoma City-based hospitals and hospital-based clinics – including OU Health University of Oklahoma Medical Center, OU Health Edmond Medical Center, Oklahoma Children’s Hospital OU Health – will be considered out of network effective May 1, 2022. Oklahoma City-based OU Health providers will be considered out of network effective July 1, 2022. If this occurs, patients may pay more out-of-pocket costs to visit these hospitals, clinics and providers

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How can I stay updated on OU Health's status with United Healthcare?

We will continue to keep our patients, staff, stakeholders and leaders updated as contract discussions progress. You can access updates on our website at www.ouhealth.com/uhc.

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Why is it important that OU Health remains in-network for patients insured by United Healthcare?

If OU Health goes out of network with UnitedHealthcare (UHC), patients may have to pay more out-of-pocket costs to visit Oklahoma City-based OU Health hospitals, clinics and providers. A health plan must have a network in place that is capable of providing access to the care that its enrollees deserve.

  • OU Health has the largest multispecialty group of physicians in Oklahoma and offers a depth and breadth of clinical services not otherwise available to the patients in our region.
  • OU Health University of Oklahoma Medical Center is the only comprehensive academic hospital in the state, offering the widest range of medical and surgical services in the region. Serving as Oklahoma’s only Level I trauma center.
  • University of Oklahoma Medical Center also offers the highest level of care for stroke patients, providing unmatched neurology and neurosurgery services, and is home to Oklahoma’s most experienced organ transplant team.
  • Working alongside OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center, the hospital has the state’s only comprehensive bone marrow transplant center and more radiation therapy options than any hospital in Oklahoma.
  • From advanced cardiac care to orthopedic services and more, University of Oklahoma Medical Center patients benefit from healthcare based on the latest research and advances in medicine.

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What is the status of negotiations?

OU Health and UnitedHealthcare (UHC) remain far apart in negotiations. We are working in good faith with UHC in hopes of a fair resolution that maintains our in-network status and long-standing collaborative relationship.

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What is the status of discussions?

We are working diligently to reach an agreement before our current contract expires. We are committed to working in good faith with UHC in what we hope will be an active and productive negotiation to reach a fair resolution that maintains our in-network status and long-standing collaborative relationship. We remain hopeful we will be able to reach an agreement soon.

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What if I have an appointment with my provider scheduled on or after May 1, 2022, or what if I’m currently undergoing treatment at an OU Health facility in Oklahoma City?

If you are currently receiving or are scheduled to receive treatment with an Oklahoma City-based OU Health hospital, hospital-based clinic or provider, there are some situations in which you can continue to receive care at in-network costs for a short period of time. This is called continuity of care, and it applies to OU Health patients who meet one of the following criteria:

  • Are undergoing treatment for a serious and complex condition (e.g., cancer, end-stage renal disease, or AIDS)
  • Are undergoing inpatient or institutional care
  • Have scheduled non-elective surgical care before May 1, 2022 and have necessary post-operative care scheduled after May 1
  • Are pregnant and are receiving prenatal care
  • Are terminally ill and receiving treatment for such illness

The length of time that a patient is covered under the continuity of care provision will vary but will not exceed late June 2022; 90 days after patients were notified that OU Health might be going out-of-network.

Patients who meet the continuity of care criteria will need to request and obtain authorization from UHC to continue receiving care at in-network costs. Patients should contact UHC for further clarification.

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I am a military veteran or an OU retiree. Does this apply to me?

If you are a member of the VA Community Care Network with UnitedHealthcare, this will not affect your in-network access to care at an OU Health hospital, clinic or other facility.

For patients who are OU retirees, OU Health will now be considered out of network. However, if the hospital, facility and/or provider are Medicare-approved and agrees to treat the patient and file the claim with United Healthcare on behalf on the patient, the OU retiree will not experience a difference in their share of cost. The university’s open-access plan design will keep the patient’s share of cost the same as if it were part of UHC’s network.

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I am concerned or have questions. Who do I call?

  • Call UnitedHealthcare Group
    For members of employer-sponsored plans: (866) 414-1959;
    For members of individual or family plans: (800) 980-5319
    For members of Medicare Advantage plans: (800) 721-0627
  • Talk with your employer
    Ask your employer to let UHC know that it is important to keep in-network access to OU Health.
  • Call our office
    For hospital-based Services and Clinics: (405) 271-5533
    For OU Health Physicians clinics: (405) 271-5258

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