UnitedHealthCare Update

Rutherford Regional Health System takes seriously our commitment to provide patients and the community with access to high-quality, high-value care. Our team of physicians, nurses and other caregivers and employees is invested in the health of this region because it's our home. 

Over the last several months, we have been negotiating with UnitedHealthcare in good faith to reach a new contract for hospital and physician services. Unfortunately, we have been unable to reach a fair agreement, and we are disappointed that our hospital* and physician services* contracts for UnitedHealthcare insurance plans will end on January 1, 2019. 

As a result, beginning January 1, 2019, Rutherford Regional's hospital services and employed physicians will no longer be considered "in-network" with UnitedHealthcare. Please know that Rutherford Regional will continue to treat all patients in need of emergency care through our hospital's Emergency Room. 

What this means for UnitedHealthcare Patients

  • For AARP sponsored Medicare Advantage Patients, you can still switch your coverage to an "in-network" plan during the Open Enrollment Period (January 1st -- March 31st), even if you are currently enrolled in a plan for 2019. Call MedicareCompareUSA at 855.582.6977 to learn more about plans "in-network" with our hospital and employed physicians.
  • You may still have access to Rutherford Regional Health System and our employed physicians through your "out-of-network benefit." Check your benefit plan design or call the UnitedHealthcare phone number found on the back of your insurance card to learn more.  
  • If you do not have an "out-of-network" benefit you may experience higher out-of-pocket costs for Rutherford Regional's hospital services. Please call the UnitedHealthcare phone number found on the back of your insurance card for more information on your "out-of-network" costs and to urge UnitedHealthcare to negotiate a fair contract to remain "in-network" with Rutherford Regional Health System and our employed physicians. 
  • Many patients in active treatment or with certain illnesses can continue receiving care with "in-network" benefits through their continuity of care benefit. For example, women who are pregnant through six weeks post-delivery or patients with cancer may qualify. Patients can apply at www.uhc.com/continuity-of-care. 
  • If you have additional questions related to Rutherford Regional's Hospital services, please call 828-286-5307 and a representative with the hospital will be available to assist you.
  • If you have questions related to Rutherford Physician Practice Group for specific doctors, please call 828-286-5329 and a Clinic representative will be able to assist you.  

Rutherford Regional, like all hospitals, works with insurance companies to receive payment for the care we provide our patients. Fair agreements with insurance companies are vital to our ability to continue to reinvest in patient care by recruiting new physicians and caregivers and enhancing the services we provide. 

We consider it an honor and a privilege to care for the community and are aiming to ensure all patients have access to the care they need, when they need it and from the providers they rely on regularly. Ensuring that we can continue meeting the community's healthcare needs is a top priority in our discussions with UnitedHealthcare.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience you may experience. Please know that we are actively working toward a resolution and will continue to keep you updated as we move forward. 

*Please note, the contract termination is between UnitedHealthcare's commercial insurance plans and Rutherford Regional Health System, its employed physicians, and select Duke LifePoint Healthcare facilities. It does not affect Duke University Health System hospitals or clinics. 

Special Message for Retired State Employees: 

For North Carolina state retirees, UnitedHealthcare's Medicare Advantage plan allows you to receive services at Rutherford Regional regardless of our contract status with UnitedHealthcare. The state retiree plan has the same out-of-pocket expense for "in-network" and "out-of-network" providers. As a result, you will see no changes in your health insurance coverage.