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Premier Health, UnitedHealthcare have contract deal

Published: Tuesday, January 02, 2018 @ 1:50 PM

Premier and UntiedHealthcare have a contract as of Jan. 1, 2018.

Premier Health and UnitedHealthcare have agreed to a new contract, ending a seven-month dispute that affected nearly 200,000 health insurance policy holders in the region.

The two companies were unable to reach a new contract deal last May and the dispute dragged on through the end of 2017, leaving patients with Premier doctors and UHC insurance scrambling to either find a new doctor, switch insurers or pay more for out-of-network care.

“We are very happy to have found common ground and a way that Premier Health and UnitedHealthcare can work collaboratively to extend quality, patient-centered care in our communities,” said Mary Boosalis, president and CEO, Premier Health. “We look forward to working with UnitedHealthcare to continue serving our community and having a positive impact for its members who live and work in our service area.”

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: 

• No deal in sight between Premier and UnitedHealthcare contract talks

• Timeline: How Premier, UHC dispute unfolded in 2017

• Why the Premier-UHC dispute could hit region harder in 2018

The new contract deal was announced Tuesday and became effective immediately.

“Our priority is ensuring the people we serve have access to quality, cost effective health care,” said Kurt Lewis, CEO of UnitedHealthcare of Ohio. “Premier Health is an important community provider and partner and we are pleased to renew our relationship on behalf of the tens of thousands of people we serve across southwest Ohio.”

Details of the contract were not available but it was described as a multi-year deal.

Last year, both sides said the dispute centered around the giant insurer’s plan to rank hospitals and doctors in tiers based on cost and quality, with the stated goal of lowering the cost of health care by prompting patients to shop for cheaper care.

Premier opposed the ranking system, which it said is already steering patients away from its services and doesn’t accurately compare cost differences between its providers and other options.

Boosalis on Tuesday would not say whether tiering was a part of the new deal and said the fine details are still being hammered out.
RELATED: Sale of Premier Health's insurance line falls apart

“I am not able to talk about the specifics of the contract. That’s part of the agreement,” she said.

She said however, that she and her board feel good about the results.

It would have been easy to get a short term deal that wasn’t in the long-term best interest of patients, Boosalis said, but said she and her board pushed for the better long-term deal.

“It was hard for any given person on any given day and I don’t think I’ll ever forget that, but we had to look at the longer term and the greater good and that’s where we landed in the end,” Boosalis said.

The contract dispute hit the region hard leaving those in the area covered by UHC out of network at Premier, the largest hospital and doctor network in Southwest Ohio.

“It was very difficult and it was very serious and I don’t take that lightly and nor does my board,” she said.

Premier’s hospitals include Miami Valley Hospital with an additional location at Miami Valley Hospital South, Atrium Medical Center, Upper Valley Medical Center and Good Samaritan Hospital. Miami Valley Hospital operates the only Level I trauma center in the region, which has the highest level of comprehensive trauma care.

Being out of contract chipped away at both parties. Premier Health said previously that its bottom line was off by “millions” because of UHC patients having their access curbed and UHC was challenged this open enrollment season with selling insurance policies that at the time couldn’t be used in-network at the largest health care provider in the region.

RELATED: High Medicaid, Medicare use in Dayton increases health care costs

Temporary agreements would have expired this month that had been letting patients with UHC pay Premier doctors with a $25 co-pay and let UHC-managed Medicare Advantage plans remain in-network with Premier.

UHC has 200,000 policy holders in the area and as of May, about 70,000 UHC-policy holders had used Premier services over the past 12 months.

Open enrollment season is over for both commercial and government insurance plans for 2018, and some Medicare Advantage policy holders and employers have already switched insurance carriers because of the uncertainty.

Dayton Public Schools, one of the largest local employers covered by UHC, switched to Anthem for 2018, in part so employees with Premier could still see their doctor.

Left lane blocked on NB I-75 in Tipp City after multiple crashes

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 12:35 AM
Updated: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 5:38 AM

SCENE: Multiple crashes on NB I-75 in Tipp City

Traffic issues can be reported by calling our newsroom at 937-259-2237 or tweeting @WHIOTraffic .

Traffic conditions are updated every six minutes on AM 1290 and News 95.7 FM.

Major Highway Incidents

  • On NB I-75 in Tipp City north of SR 571, four separate crashes reported around 5:30 a.m. Left lane is blocked. No serious injuries reported. 

Surface Street Incidents

  • No incidents to report. 

>> RELATED: WHIO App-Winter

>> RELATED: Check for delays or cancellations before heading to the airport

>> RELATED: Track the latest conditions in your neighborhood on our live WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Ongoing Construction & Other Closures 

Live look at highways on our traffic cameras here.

Latest traffic conditions are also available on our traffic map. 

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

  • Keowee Street north of Stanley Avenue, bridge closed until 2019. The official detour is: Keowee Street to Stanley Avenue to I-75 to Wagner Ford Road and back to Dixie. More information is available here.
  • Stewart Street Ramp to US 35 East, RAMP CLOSURE March 28 - Sept 30, 2018. The official detour is: Stewart Street to Edwin C. Moses Boulevard to I-75 north to US 35 west to James H. McGee Blvd. to US 35 east.
  • I-75 north Ramp to US 35 west and east, Lane width restriction until Apr. 1, 2018. One lane will remain open on the ramp with a width of 11 feet.
  • I-70 between Upper Lewisburg Salem Road and Brooksville-Phillipsburg Road, Lane closure Jan. 22 - 29. One lane will remain open in each direction at all times. Shoulder closures Jan. 22 - Sept. 30. Both the inside and outside shoulders of I-70 will be closed during construction. 

Tsunami warning issued after 7.9 magnitude earthquake off coast of Alaska

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 5:02 AM
Updated: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 6:55 AM

A tsunami warning is in effect after a preliminary 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck  173 miles southeast of Kodiak, Alaska.

>> THE LATEST: Officials tell residents to seek higher ground amid tsunami warning

UPDATE @ 6:55 a.m. 

The Kodiak Police Department reports water has started to recede from their harbor, and are urging residents to move to higher ground and wait for updates, according to a Facebook post. 

 Police also posted a video about 5:40 a.m. Eastern Time, warning residents a tsunami could be on the way. 

The tsunami watch, issued for parts of the Hawaii has been cancelled, but remains in effect Oregon, California, and Washington.  

FIRST REPORT

The earthquake was at a depth of 15 miles. There have been nine aftershocks, from 3.1 to 5.0 magnitude.

The Oregon, California and Washington coasts are under a tsunami watch.

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

According to the National Weather Service, the first waves should arrive around 2 a.m. local time (6 a.m. Eastern Time). Residents are being told to seek higher ground.

The National Weather Service tweeted that a buoy just northeast of the epicenter recorded a water displacement of 32 feet.

This story will be updated as we learn additional details.

Chance for rain, snow showers today with gusty winds

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 3:38 AM

Here's what to expect on the roads today.

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • More showers arrive this morning
  • Dry and warming up to end week
  • More rain for weekend

>> 4 tricks to help avoid illness during big temperature changes

DETAILED FORECAST

TODAY: Another batch of light showers off to the west will move in early this morning, said Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini. Showers today will mainly fall as rain, but at times a mix with wet snow flakes can occur. An accumulation isn’t expected with the wintry mix. Temperatures will linger in the upper 30s, but fall quickly towards the end of the afternoon. They’ll be gusty winds around 30 mph at times today with any evening rain or snow showers ending rather quickly. 

>> 5-Day Forecast

TOMORROW: Colder temperatures start the day in the mid-20s. Some passing flurries are also possible for the first part of the day. Highs peak in the mid-30s as clouds decrease at nighttime. 

THURSDAY: There will be sunshine throughout the day with temperatures warmer than normal in the low 40s. The day will be dry.

>> County-by-County Weather

FRIDAY: We continue to see temperatures improve with sunshine and a few clouds as highs reach around 50 degrees. 

SATURDAY: The day will be breezy and mild with highs around 50 degrees. Rain showers will start to arrive and become more widespread into the night. 

One dead, one hospitalized after shooting in Dayton

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 2:15 AM

UPDATE @ 2:40 a.m.: One person is dead and another individual was taken to Miami Valley Hospital after a shooting occurred in Dayton early Tuesday morning, according to officials.

RELATED: 3 arrested in Greenville SWAT standoff that began as firearms investigation

Crews were dispatched to the area of N. Upland Avenue and Fairbanks Avenue around 2 a.m. where they found two adult males, both shot with once deceased in the back of a vehicle. 

A homicide detective has been called to the scene, as well as the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office. 

The condition of the man taken to Miami Valley Hospital is unknown at this time.

The shooting remains under investigation. 

INITIAL REPORT

Officials are responding to the area of N. Upland Avenue at Fairbanks Avenue for a reported shooting victim.

The incident was reported early Tuesday morning around 2 a.m., per initial reports.

We have a crew on the way to the scene to learn more details about the ordeal.