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No deal yet for UnityPoint and Amerigroup

Negotiations will go through the weekend if necessary, with a Sunday deadline

The MedQuarter Regional Medical District including St. Luke's Hospital, Physicians' Clinic of Iowa Medical Pavilion, and Mercy Medical Center in an aerial photograph in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette-KCRG TV9)
The MedQuarter Regional Medical District including St. Luke's Hospital, Physicians' Clinic of Iowa Medical Pavilion, and Mercy Medical Center in an aerial photograph in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette-KCRG TV9)

UnityPoint Health has not yet reached an agreement with Amerigroup of Iowa over a contract for serving Iowa Medicaid patients, officials said Thursday afternoon.

“Discussions are ongoing and we are still working toward a resolution by the end of the calendar year,” UnityPoint Spokeswoman Teresa Thoensen said in an email to The Gazette. “We will continue discussions into the weekend if needed.”

UnityPoint Health, one of the state’s largest medical networks with facilities that include St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids, announced Nov. 15 it has notified 54,000 patients that the network’s contract with Amerigroup could end Dec. 31.

Amerigroup is one of two remaining managed-care organizations handling Iowa’s Medicaid program.

If UnityPoint and Amerigroup can’t hammer out differences, UnityPoint providers and facilities no longer will be able to provide services to Amerigroup members beginning April 1, the health network said last month. An exception would be for emergency care, as required by law.

If the two sides do not reach an agreement, enrollees would need to change their insurer or keep Amerigroup and transfer to a new provider, UnityPoint said.

UnityPoint Health will continue to be in-network for Iowa’s other managed-care network, UnitedHealthcare.

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For more information, Amerigroup members can go to unitypoint.org/IowaMedicaid or contact Iowa Medicaid Member Services toll-free 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, at (800) 338-8366 or (515) 256-4606; or visit http://dhs.iowa.gov/iahealthlink.

l Comments: (319) 339-3157; erin.jordan@thegazette.com

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