Northside, United sign new deal, ending months-long dispute

UnitedHealthcare and Northside Hospital have signed a contract to bring all of Northside’s Atlanta-area hospitals into the insurer’s network.

The two organizations announced their new deal Monday.

The new contract restores United members’ access to Northside’s Lawrenceville and Duluth hospitals, which will also be part of United’s Medicare Advantage plans. The two hospitals had been out of network for United members for five months.

Sunday was the deadline for United to renew its contract with Northside Hospital Atlanta and its suburban facilities in Cumming and Canton. They, too, would have dropped out of network if the agreement had not been reached in time.

“Our more than 30-year partnership with UnitedHealthcare was a significant factor in our successful renewal,’’ said Scott Wade, vice president of Northside Hospital. “Our many years of commitment to patient care directed both of us throughout this process. We are pleased that we have come to an agreement that provides the necessary resources for Northside to deliver the standard of care that is consistent with our reputation in the communities we serve.’’

Northside Hospital Atlanta is an important component of insurers’ networks, with the reputation of delivering more babies a year than any other community hospital in the country.

Northside Hospital Atlanta

“Our top priority throughout our negotiations with Northside was to ensure the people we’re honored to serve have continued access to quality care at affordable, sustainable rates, and the renewal of our longstanding relationship accomplishes that goal. We appreciate Northside’s collaboration in achieving this outcome,” said Junior Harewood, CEO of UnitedHealthcare in Georgia, which serves more than 1 million people in the state.

Here’s more from GHN on the contract dispute.