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TMCNet:  Glens Falls Hospital and Aetna settle contract dispute

[November 19, 2012]

Glens Falls Hospital and Aetna settle contract dispute

GLENS FALLS, Nov 17, 2012 (The Post-Star - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Aetna and Glens Falls Hospital have agreed on a new contract that will keep the hospital in the health insurer's network without interruption.

"There will be no break for members in having in-network coverage at the Glens Falls Hospital and with related physicians," Susan Millerick, an Aetna spokeswoman, said on Friday.

Millerick would not release details of the agreement, other than that is "a multi-year" contract.

She would not say how many years.

"We're just delighted that we have reached an agreement," she said.

The new agreement runs through June 2014, said Darlene Raynsford, a hospital spokeswoman.

"It increases the rates that Aetna pays for services we provide, and will have a positive impact on our situation," she said.

Raynsford would not discuss specific details.

David Kruczlnicki, the hospital's president and chief executive officer, said last week that the two sides agreed to have an independent expert analyze how the hospital's contract with Aetna compared with contracts with other health insurance companies.

Aetna had notified its local members last month that it planned to end its contract with the hospital on Thursday because of a rate dispute.

But the two sides continued negotiating and reached an agreement.

If a new contract had not been reached, Aetna would have removed Glens Falls Hospital from its network, which would have meant local members would have to go to Saratoga Hospital for non-emergency hospital care, or else pay a substantially higher out-of-pocket cost to receive care at Glens Falls Hospital.

Aetna insures 642 families in the Glens Falls area, which would have been affected by the change.

Jude Spero, an Aetna member from Queensbury, said Friday she is relieved the hospital and insurance company reached agreement.

"It would have caused us a great deal of difficulty because all of our doctors in the area are affiliated with Glens Falls Hospital," she said.

Spero said that if Glens Falls Hospital was removed from the network, she would have to call the insurance company every time someone in her family needed care, in order to determine whether it was an emergency or not.

"It was just basically very worrisome," she said.

___ (c)2012 The Post Star (Glens Falls, N.Y.) Visit The Post Star (Glens Falls, N.Y.) at www.poststar.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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