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ECHN, Aetna Sign New Deal

Company mum on United Healthcare talks.

Eastern Connecticut Health Network on Monday said it has signed a new multi-year network participation agreement with Aetna.

Under the new agreement, Aetna’s commercial and Medicare members will be able to continue receiving covered inpatient and outpatient health care services, at in-network rates, from Rockville General Hospital, Manchester Memorial Hospital and ECHN-owned physician practices, ECHN officials said in a news release.

“We are pleased to have reached a mutually satisfying agreement with a payor who shares our mission of improving outcomes and the health status of the communities we serve,” said Michael Veillette, ECHN’s senior vice president of finance and information services. “It is refreshing to negotiate with a company that understands the financial obligations of health care providers and can agree to reasonable reimbursement rates that keeps quality health care east of the river. It’s a win-win situation for all parties involved. We look forward to a long-term relationship with Aetna."

Added Martha Temple, Aetna’s New England market president, "We are pleased to have reached an agreement with ECHN that enables us to work together to
 ensure the delivery of quality, affordable care to our members,” said “We look forward to continuing a constructive working relationship with
 ECHN for the benefit of their patients who are our members.”

ECHN is a not-for-profit health care system serving 19 towns in eastern Connecticut, through

Its network of affiliates that include Manchester Memorial Hospital, Rockville General Hospital and Woodlake at Tolland Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.

ECHN has been in testy discussions with United Healthcare regarding a new agreement and threatened to suspend the relationship if a new deal were not in place by Saturday.

Scott Aiken October 18, 2011 at 11:18 AM
I believe that ECHN Sr. VP Michael Veillette's thinly veiled passive aggressive comments towards UHC will not help the already "testy" discussions with UHC. I am sure that both sides of the negotiation table have equally valid points; however, what ECHN and UHC both fail to realize is that the only people who lose in this are your customers. I think that both sides of this argument have forgotten what is the most important part of what they each do: providing the means and the facilities for people like me and my family to stay healthy. If you both fail to reach an agreement, my costs will only go up as now ECHN's services will now be "out of network." If that is the case, I will do two things: one, I will now use different health care services; and two, I will advocate with my employer to find a different health care insurance provider. Yes, I am only one person. I know that there are many like me, and we are finding our voices again. ECHN and UHC: settle your differences and come to an agreement, or we all lose.

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