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LI hospitals, insurance company reach deal

Three East End hospitals and insurance company United Healthcare/Oxford reached an agreement late Wednesday night, bringing thousands of Long Islanders back in-network with the hospitals and preventing even more from being pushed out of network.

The East End Health Alliance is made up of Southampton Hospital, Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead and Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport.

Since July 15, 3,000 individuals with the East End Health Plan had been out of network, said Paul Connor, chief executive and President at Eastern Long Island Hospital. The agreement brings those people back into network.

The deal also prevents an additional 12,000 people with United Healthcare/Oxford from being pushed out of network, Connor said. Being out of network can mean higher costs for patients.

United Healthcare/Oxford could not be reached for comment. Connor said he was pleased to reach the deal. “We used up every bit of time,” he said, describing it as “an 11:59 deal.”

The rates had been negotiated earlier, but negotiators were “stumbling about for the past week” with contract language, he said, adding that the agreement brought payments to “market rate reimbursements.”

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