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Patient Letter 4-27

Patient Letter 4-27

April 27, 2022

Dear Patient,

I want to let you know of a situation that may affect you or members of your family’s access to care from OU Health. Our records indicate that you and/or members of your family may be insured by UnitedHealthcare (UHC) Group. We are currently negotiating our new contract with UHC, and, at this time, anticipate that our Oklahoma City hospitals and hospital-based clinics will be out of network effective May 1, 2022, and our Oklahoma-City based physicians will be out of network effective July 1, 2022.

We understand that this is stressful for you and your family, and we are actively working with UHC to ensure an agreement is reached. Unfortunately, UHC is asking OU Health to take a significant decrease in reimbursement– a 39 percent rate cut for our physicians and 20 percent rate cut for our facilities. This is 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 and nurses who have dedicated their lives to caring for our patients and are recovering from the burnout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Going out of network may mean increased out-of-pocket costs for you and/or your family to receive care. This includes care received at OU Health University of Oklahoma Medical Center, OU Health Edmond Medical Center, Oklahoma Children’s Hospital OU Health, OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center, and all OU Health Oklahoma City hospital-based clinics and Oklahoma City-based OU Health providers.

If you are currently receiving or are scheduled to receive treatment at an OU Health facility, there are some situations in which you can continue to receive care at in-network costs after May 1. This is called continuity of care, and it applies to OU Health patients who meet limited criteria. 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.

Patients with questions should call the following numbers:

  • Call United Healthcare 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.

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.

Please know, our top priority is you, as our valued patient, and your continued in-network access to the physicians and hospitals you know and trust. We remain hopeful we will be able to reach an agreement soon.

Sincerely,

Richard P. Lofgren, MD
President and Chief Executive Officer
OU Health