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Infirmary Health and UnitedHealthcare Contract Negotiations

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At this time, the out-of-network status does not apply to Infirmary Medical Clinics or UHC Medicare Advantage plans.

Mobile, Ala. – Infirmary Health’s commercial insurance hospital-services contract with UnitedHealthcare (UHC) ended at 12:01 a.m. June 4, 2024. After months of negotiations, it is apparent that UHC is unwilling to recognize the escalating costs associated with operating a quality, comprehensive healthcare system in today’s economic environment. Therefore, effective June 4, 2024, UHC commercial insurance patients will no longer have in-network coverage for inpatient or outpatient services at Infirmary Health hospitals (Mobile Infirmary, Thomas Hospital, North Baldwin Infirmary, and Infirmary Long-Term Acute Care Hospital), freestanding emergency departments, imaging centers, and other hospital-owned facilities.

At this time, the out-of-network status does not apply to Infirmary Medical Clinics or UHC Medicare Advantage plans. Patients and employers with UHC commercial insurance should check with their physician’s office to determine what hospital-related costs they may be personally responsible for if they choose to utilize an Infirmary Health hospital or other affected facility.

Infirmary Health, like most health systems in Alabama and across the nation, is experiencing an unprecedented rise in expenses, including supplies, labor, and pharmaceuticals along with payor denials of payment for services already rendered. While Infirmary Health continues to improve operational efficiencies to manage expenses, it is necessary that for-profit insurers, like UHC, provide fair reimbursement, and ultimately, prioritize the healthcare needs of their insured patients. Periodic negotiations between health systems and payors are normal business occurrences. Unfortunately, in this case, UHC, a partner of the for-profit entity UnitedHealth Group, has been unwilling to accept reasonable contract terms that recognize the financial challenges of operating hospitals and supporting services.

As the largest not-for-profit healthcare system in the State of Alabama, with a 54% overall market share in Southwest Alabama, Infirmary Health is committed to putting its patients and local communities first. In addition to its hospitals, freestanding emergency departments, and imaging centers, Infirmary Health operates more than 60 physician practices across Mobile and Baldwin Counties, maintains the Infirmary Physician Alliance comprising over 530 physicians, and cares for more than 1.54 million patient visits annually. Infirmary Health’s goal is to provide the highest quality care to those who live across the Gulf Coast region. Unfortunately, UHC is unwilling to provide fair payor rates that adequately cover the costs necessary to deliver the quality of healthcare patients in our region expect and depend on.