Bay area seniors with Humana Medicare could soon be forced to find alternate hospitals for their medical needs.
Humana sent a letter to its Medicare and commercial members in the Bay area last week.
The letter stated those members will not be able to go to HCA Health System Facilities after July 10. However, a Humana spokesman later said that could change depending on current contract discussions with HCA.
There are nearly two dozen HCA locations in the Bay area including Brandon Regional Hospital in Brandon, Oak Hill Hospital in Brooksville, and Bayonet Point Hospital in Hudson.
- Patients with questions about their coverage in addition to contacting their coverage provider can call 1-800-763-2040.
Humana Medicare members Thomas and Joan Randazzo of Hudson were upset after receiving the letter.
"My doctor's not affiliated with BayCare, she's affiliated with HCA," said Randazzo. "So what happens there? If I go into the hospital, she can't come see me?"
The notification is the result of contract negotiations between HCA and Humana.
Humana Spokesman Mitch Lubitz said the health care provider is required to give members at least 30 days notice about a potential contract termination.
According to HCA and Humana, the two sides are actively negotiating a new contract. Both sides are optimistic an agreement will be reached before July 10th.
Statement from HCA Spokesman J.C. Sadler:
“We remain actively engaged in continuing discussions with Humana and are optimistic that we’ll come to an agreement before the July 10th extension date for Humana Commercial and Humana Medicare Advantage plans. As we participate with many other health plans in the state, we have established a toll-free number (1-800-763-2040) patients may call with questions about their coverage in addition to contacting their coverage provider.”
Statement from Humana Spokesman Mitch Lubitz:
"Humana’s existing Florida Medicare and Commercial network agreement with HCA Florida expires July 10, 2015. Humana is actively engaged in contract negotiations with HCA and remains hopeful we will retain in-network access to these hospitals for our Tampa Bay health plan members. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services requires that health insurers, such as Humana, provide advance notice to their Medicare health plan members of any significant pending provider termination at least 30 days prior to the contract’s end."
If the deal is reached, Humana Medicare members would not have to switch from HCA facilities.