"That is factually wrong — not even close," Hartford Hospital spokeswoman Rebecca Stewart said Wednesday.
The hospital is seeking an increase to reimbursement rates that is slightly above the medical inflation rate, which she says is 5.9 percent. The hospital would not, however, say what percentage increase in rates it wants each year, other than Stewart saying "around 6 percent."
Neither UnitedHealth nor Hartford Hospital will give the actual dollar amounts of proposed rates, which could be compared with current rates to verify one or the other's argument. The proposed rates are often considered proprietary information during any negotiation between an insurer and a hospital. In recent years, however, the public has been given a closer look at sticking points in these type of negotiations as consumers complain about the price of medical coverage.
UnitedHealth stands by its statement, said company spokesman Daryl Richard. The parent company for
"In practical terms, that means the average cost for a two-day hospital stay after delivering a baby would increase by as much as $650, and the average cost of outpatient surgery, such as arthroscopic knee surgery, would increase by almost $300," Richard said in an e-mail Tuesday.
The region's largest hospital, and its affiliate
The debate is centered on reimbursement rates that the hospital charges the insurance company for medical services such as surgeries and diagnostic tests.