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Premier Health asks UnitedHealthcare policy holders to switch plans

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 1:03 PM
Updated: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 1:55 PM


Premier Health sent a letter this week to its patients saying “we strongly advise” those with UnitedHealthcare policies to consider switching plans, as both sides remain far from a deal that would let policy holders again get coverage at Premier doctors offices and hospitals.

The contract between UnitedHealthcare and Premier, the region’s largest health system, expired May 13 after negotiations fell apart. The two parties both said they are not close to a deal that would again bring Miami Valley Hospital, Atrium Medical Center and the rest of Premier Health’s affiliates back in network.

The dispute centers around the giant insurer’s plan to rank hospitals and doctors in tiers based on cost and quality, with the goal of incentivizing lower health care costs. Premier opposes the ranking system, which it says is already steering patients away from its hospitals and providers.

RELATED: Dayton Children’s Hospital adding its first inpatient mental health wing

There are 70,000 UnitedHealthcare members who have used Premier facilities or physicians in the last year prior to May’s contract expiration and 200,000 patients with UnitedHealthcare in the Dayton region.

A Premier spokesman said the letter speaks for itself and the health system didn’t have additional comment.

In an Oct. 16 letter signed by Premier CEO Mary Boosalis, she states Premier has contracts with other plans like with Anthe Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Medical Mutual, Aetna, Human and Cigna.

“If your employer hasn’t offered another plan option other than UHC, consider asking your human resources department to either switch health plans or to provide a plan option that includes Premier Health as “in-network.”

Some local hospitals that remain in UHC’s network include Dayton Children’s, Grandview, Greene Memorial, Kettering Medical Center, Medical Center at Elizabeth Place, Soin Medical Center, Southview, Springfield Regional, and Sycamore.

RELATED: Columbus firm picked to plan fairgrounds redevelopment

Premier has a large network of primary care doctors under its umbrella, along with Miami Valley Hospital with an additional site at Miami Valley Hospital South, Good Samaritan Hospital, Atrium Medical Center and Upper Valley Medical Center.

Premier said the last offer it put on a table was for no rate increase in 2017, a 3 percent increase in 2018, a 3 percent increase in 2019 and no increase in 2020. UnitedHealthcare’s last offer is a 10 percent rate decrease in 2017, a 5 percent decrease in 2018, and a 5 percent decrease in 2019.

RELATED: Premier Health networking event targets diverse suppliers

UnitedHealthcare has maintained none of Premier’s offers address the high cost of care that gets passed onto its customers. It said it is still open to conversation with Premier.

“Local employers are asking everyone to play a role in helping address the high cost of health care in Dayton, and we want to work with Premier on this goal, but to this point we have been unable to find a resolution that creates sustainable improvements.”

The insurer said it still has a broad network of physicians that its policy holders can see.

Local flights to and from Atlanta impacted as storm drops snow on South

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 5:41 AM

Photo by Pixabay
Photo by Pixabay

Some local flights are delayed to and from Atlanta this morning as snow falls in the South.

One to 1.5 inches of snow is expected to fall in metropolitan Atlanta through this morning. A state of emergency has been issued for 83 counties in Georgia.

RELATED: Frigid temperatures trail storm dropping more snow on South

Before heading to the airport, check our interactive flight delay map to see if your flight is on time.

Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini said Winter Weather Advisories and Winter Storm Warnings have spread up the eastern half of the United States.

Snow falling Wednesday morning in Georgia, through the Carolinas all the way to New England is creating travel delays across the country. More than 10 states are under winter weather alerts for Wednesday.  

The governor of Georgia issued a state of emergency for 83 counties ahead of the snow and bitter cold. Early morning snow totals ranged from 1.6 inches in midtown to almost two inches near Douglasville. 

A Winter Storm Warning was issued by the National Weather Service for parts of South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. The National Weather Service in Raleigh say 3-6 inches of snow will be possible through Wednesday evening in some spots.

West Liberty still healing 1 year after school shooting

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 5:50 AM

West Liberty-

Saturday will mark one year since a gunman opened fire inside West Liberty-Salem High School, rocking the small community where many thought something so violent could never happen. 

“I was in disbelief,” said Jacob King, whose wife owns a store on Detroit Street — the main road through the village of less than 2,000 people. 

>>READ MORE: West Liberty seeks mental health help after school shooting 

Since the shooting, the school district upgraded its safety measures and hired a counselor to help students get through the traumatic experience. But even with the response, West Liberty-Salem Superintendent Kraig Hissong said the schools and village might never be the same. 

“Everybody has been left with a new sense of normal,” Hissong said. 


Kettering rape kit among thousands BCI, Miami Valley Crime Lab have processed since 2011

Published: Monday, January 15, 2018 @ 12:10 PM
Updated: Monday, January 15, 2018 @ 12:47 PM

Thousands of backlogged rape kits processed

Update@5:39 p.m. (Jan. 16)

The rape kit in this case is among thousands that are backlogged, and law enforcement agencies across the state are working with Ohio’s Bureau of Criminal Investigations to process them, officials said Tuesday. 

BCI and the Miami Valley Crime Lab have been working on 14, 600 rape kits since Attorney Mike DeWine started an initiative in 2011.

“It’s been a fairly overwhelming project,” said Tom Strickrath, superintendent at BCI. “We had no idea it would be 14,000 of these rape kits that would be in evidence lockers and closets across the state of Ohio.” 

The AG’s office has processed all but 300 of the kits statewide since the initiative was launched, he said. 

 Locally, of the 367 kits that were processed in Springfield, 133 suspects were found. In addition, they’ve processed all 17 kits in Fairborn and identified five suspects, Strickrath said. 

Eight kits remain in Xenia, although they’ve found 11 suspects, and they’ve tested eight of the 13 kits they received from Trotwood, he said. 

Investigators are not just finding the suspects in the rape cases, they’re convicting many of them as well, he said. They’ve also gathered data  that will help doctors, nurses and law enforcement determine the best way to collect information in the hours after a rape is reported. 

“One thing we’re trying to do is learn from this data we have now,” Strickrath said. 

First report:

A February trial date is set for an accused kidnapper and rapist in Kettering. 

Ted A. Mullins, 47, faces a felony kidnapping charge and three counts of rape.

His trial is expected to begin Feb. 12 in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.

NEW DETAILS: Wife found shot in vehicle, husband charged with murder

Mullins remains in Montgomery County Jail where he has been since his July 2017 arrest. Mullins is accused of raping a woman he did not know in June 2009. He was not identified as a suspect until a rape kit finally tested linked his DNA to the incident, according to Kettering police. 

Mullins was indicted in August 2017.

This news outlet is working to gather more information about the 2009 case.

Kettering police Officer John Jung said the suspect was unknown to the victim. She is now in her 30s and living in Cincinnati. 

Woman killed in Fairborn house fire

The victim, who this news outlet is not naming, said she wants her story to be shared about how this was a random abduction. She plans to study nursing and help other victims of sexual assaults.

The victim told police she was abducted from the 3200 block of Wilmington Pike around 1 a.m. June 27, 2009 as she was walking from her apartment to a Speedway.

JUST IN: Popeyes opens 4th Dayton-area restaurant; 5th on the way

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 5:50 AM

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen expands across Dayton region, opens Springboro location

The Dayton area’s newest Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen has opened its doors, and another is coming later this year as the region’s fried-chicken restaurant competition continues to intensify.

Popeyes opened its Springboro location at 829 W. Central Ave. on Tuesday, franchise owner Pat Gilligan told this news outlet. The restaurant near the I-75/Ohio 73 interchange has been in the works for several months, but opened with little fanfare and is not yet listed on the Popeyes chain’s web site. The 2,600-square-foot restaurant seats about 50 and created 25 to 30 jobs, Gilligan said.

RELATED: Burger King buys Popeyes, which is expanding in SW Ohio

The Springoboro restaurant is the fourth Popeyes in the Dayton-Springfield area for the Atlanta-based chain, joining locations in Harrison Twp., Springfield and Englewood.

RELATED: Popeyes confirms new Kettering restaurant

Another Popeyes is in the works in Kettering — at the site of a former PNC Bank branch on Wilmington Pike in front of a Meijer store. Construction of that restaurant is expected to begin this spring, Gilligan said. The Dayton-area expansion of the brand’s footprint is expected to continue, the franchise owner said.

RELATED: HOT CHICKEN: Competition intensifies with new-restaurant openings

The chain known for its fried chicken and Cajun-style side dishes was once a Dayton-area mainstay. Popeyes had multiple locations in the region in the early 1980s, but those closed, and the region went without a Popeyes for several years. When the Popeyes at 3796 Salem Ave. in Harrison Twp. opened in 2001, fans flocked to the restaurant for several days, causing waits of up to an hour.

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen has opened restaurant in Springboro on Tuesday, Jan. 16. Photo from Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Facebook page(Staff Writer)

Gilligan purchased the Harrison Twp. and Springfield Popeyes locations in January 2016 and has owned Cincinnati-area Popeyes since 2006.

RELATED: Popeyes Chicken to open 4 more Dayton-area restaurants

Competition is growing more intense in the chicken-restaurant market. Raising Cane’s entered the Dayton-area region with its restaurant on Miamisburg-Centerville Road in Washington Twp. east of the Dayton Mall last year. Chick-fil-A opened two new Dayton-area restaurants — in Kettering and Troy — on the same day in January 2017. Mike’s Nashville Hot opened new restaurants on Far Hills Avenue in Centerville and in Austin Landing in Miami Twp., and Krispy Krunchy Chicken added a Bellbrook location late last year.

RELATED: Opening day today for the Dayton area’s 1st Raising Cane’s restaurant

The region also is stocked with KFC, Lee’s Famous Recipe and Church’s chicken restaurants, as well as multiple wing-themed restaurants, including WingStop, which entered the Dayton-area market for the first time about two months ago at Ohio 725 and I-675.