After a turbulent and high profile negotiation process,Ephraim McDowell Health and Humana reached an agreement days before thousands of area residents would have had to look elsewhere for medical care.
McDowell’s chief financial officer Bill Snapp said the two sides signed an agreement Thursday that will keep the hospital in Humana’s network of providers and avoid an Aug. 1 deadline. If an agreement had not been reached, it could have had large ramifications for the many area residents insured through Humana, which includes all state employees and retired teachers under the age of 65.
“There won’t be any discontinuation of service for our patients, which ultimately is the most important thing,” Snapp said.
News about the rift began circulating at the beginning of July when Humana started sending letters to customers who had used McDowell recently informing them the hospital would no longer be in its network at the end of the month and suggesting other hospitals in the area. The change would have impacted only services at Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center, including the ambulatory surgery center.