Broward Health has disrupted Florida residents’ access to care following its refusal to move off its demands for an 88% price hike over four years

Despite months of hard work and repeated efforts to find a compromise, we were unable to reach an agreement with Broward Health following its decision to terminate our contract. Throughout the entirety of our negotiation, Broward Health maintained its demands for an unreasonable 88% price hike over the next four years, which are not affordable for the community, our employer group customers or their employees.

As a result, Broward Health’s hospitals and facilities are now out of network for employer-sponsored, individual, Medicare Advantage and Medicaid plans, as well as the Veteran Affairs Community Care Network (VACCN), as of April 1, 2022. Please note this change impacts all UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans including our affiliates, Preferred Care Partners and Preferred Care Network (formerly Medica) in Florida. UnitedHealthcare members continue to have access to Broward Health’s employed physicians, who still participate in our network.

While this is not the outcome we hoped for, we feel it’s necessary if we are to achieve the goal of ensuring the employer group customers and members we serve throughout Broward County have access to affordable health care.

Please know that we remain committed to continued discussions to restore network access to Broward Health at an affordable cost. However, our primary focus at this time is ensuring that our members have uninterrupted access to the care they need and supporting them as they transition to new care providers. We know that network changes can be difficult, but our members can rest assured that they will continue to have access to high-quality, affordable care close to where they live and work. For additional information regarding continuity of care, as well as other hospitals remaining in our network throughout Broward County, please click here.

Broward Health’s demands for an 88% price hike over four years, including a near 40% rate increase in the first year of our contract, would challenge Broward County employers’ ability to offer affordable health care benefits

Health care costs continue to be a top concern for consumers and employers, and they expect us to make health care affordable. That’s especially true today, as businesses throughout Broward County struggle to keep their doors open and attract and retain the employees they need. It’s more critical now than ever that we ensure they have access to affordable health care.

Broward Health’s price hike demands would drive up premiums and out-of-pocket costs for the people we serve as well as the cost of doing business for both our self-insured and fully insured customers, impacting their ability to offer health care coverage for their employees.

Broward Health’s proposal would directly drive up health care costs for our self-insured customers given that these employers pay the cost of their employees’ medical bills themselves rather than relying on UnitedHealthcare to pay those claims. In Broward County, nearly 80% of our commercial members are enrolled in self-insured plans.

Agreeing to Broward Health’s proposal would drive up health care costs by more than $1 million for some of our self-funded customers, resulting in these companies having less money available to pay competitive wages and to help grow the business through things like investments in new technologies.

We offered Broward Health a significant increase in its reimbursement that balances the economic needs of the employers we serve while also ensuring the health system is fairly and appropriately reimbursed for the services it provides.

We have provided Broward Health multiple proposals that demonstrate our willingness to compromise as part of good-faith negotiations. Our latest proposal to Broward Health would ensure the health system is appropriately compensated for the important services it provides to our members and provides Broward Health rate increases that are substantially higher than the current Consumer Price Index for medical care. Our proposal also includes changes to our contract that Broward Health sought.

Publicly available transparency data from Broward Health illustrates we are already reimbursing the health system at rates consistent with other health insurance plans.

Broward Health has stated that the contract it is seeking would result in reimbursement similar to those from other health insurance providers. Look no further than the health plan transparency rates that are published on Broward Health’s website to draw the conclusion that this message from Broward Health is false.

Upon review of Broward Health’s own transparency data, we found that UnitedHealthcare ranked at parity or near the higher end of reimbursement for the majority of the services listed.

Our commitment to the Florida residents and employers we serve

We understand how disruptive it can be for our members if their hospital no longer participates in our network. But we also know that rising health care costs are putting pressure on family budgets and making it harder for people to afford the care they need.

On behalf of the people and employers we serve in Broward County and throughout Florida, please know we will stay at the negotiating table as long as it takes to reach an agreement. We hope Broward Health will join us there and approach the negotiating table with a realistic proposal that is affordable for consumers and employers.