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Stony Brook hospital, Aetna strike insurance deal

Stony Brook University Medical Center and Aetna, a health insurance company, have broken their deadlock and negotiated a new contract.

The insurer and health care provider announced Wednesday, a month after their old pact expired, that they have a new network agreement, effective immediately through April 30 of next year.

"This agreement reflects the genuine commitment both parties have had to the process of continuing to negotiate in good faith, focus on the issues, and work to reach an agreement," said Steve Logan, president of Aetna's New York market, in a statement.

Months-long talks broke down as the old contract expired Feb. 15, with the two sides unable to agree on reimbursement cost increases.

While all other hospitals on Long Island accept Aetna insurance, the discord left up to 24,000 Suffolk residents without health insurance coverage if they used the Stony Brook hospital.

Officials said Wednesday all services patients received after the contract expired in February will be covered in-network retroactively under the new pact.

Apologizing to patients for how long negotiations took, Stony Brook's chief executive Steven Strongwater said, "We could not rest until this negotiation was concluded, and I am extremely gratified that we have been able to reach this agreement."

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