KINGSPORT, Tenn. - UPDATE 5:42 p.m.: Wellmont Health System and UnitedHealthcare have signed a three-year agreement to allow United customers to continue to access Wellmont facilities.
The joint statement from Wellmont and UnitedHealthcare is as follows:
"KINGSPORT – Today, Wellmont Health System and UnitedHealthcare signed a three-year agreement that will enable Wellmont patients with UnitedHealthcare commercial, Medicare Advantage and Dual Complete plans to have uninterrupted access to Wellmont hospitals, facilities and medical practices.
The agreement, which takes effect today, meets our shared goals of providing high-quality care and keeping costs low for residents of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. The agreement includes competitive reimbursement rates for Wellmont and incentive payments for demonstrating improved health outcomes for UnitedHealthcare members. Wellmont has always supported pay-for-performance models and is strongly committed to better health for its patients through the Wellmont LiveWell initiative.
This successful conclusion of contract negotiations is a direct result of our organizations' commitment to reach an agreement that would best serve the health care needs of the region's residents. UnitedHealthcare and Wellmont are grateful for everyone's patience as we worked through these complex issues. We have now arrived at a meaningful contract that will provide stability for those we mutually serve and enable us to serve their needs effectively."
Wednesday is the deadline for a long-term deal between Wellmont Health System and United Healthcare.
The two sides have been working under a contract extension they mutually signed on May 31.
20,000 United Healthcare patients will be affected by the terms of the agreement.
Look for details of the agreement on our Twitter feed and WCYB.com if and when a deal is announced.