CityMD strikes deal to stay in-network with UnitedHealthcare

Urgent care firm CityMD has reached a last-minute contract to stay in UnitedHealthcare's network, curtailing the possibility that some of the firm's patients would face higher costs or need to find another provider.

As 2018 came to a close, it seemed likely CityMD might not reach a deal in time. Their agreement was set to expire on Dec. 31, and by the end of November UnitedHealthcare was warning members of the possibility.

But on Jan. 2, CityMD appeared to announce on Twitter that it had reached an agreement after all. The chain later confirmed in a statement emailed to FierceHealthcare that it would remain in-network for 2019.

"We are pleased to have reached an agreement with UnitedHealthcare that ensures that all 120+ CityMD locations will remain fully in-network for UHC members in 2019. Our agreement ensures that UHC's members can continue to rely on CityMD for high-quality, affordable, and convenient care throughout the metro NY area," wrote Angela Profeta, senior vice president of strategy at CityMD.

RELATED: Industry Voices—Payers: Expand your partnership mindset

CityMD is one of the fastest-growing urgent care chains in New York City, so United and Oxford Health members in the area were understandably concerned about losing access to their clinics. On Nov. 26, 2018, United sent a letter to members warning them of the potential disruption in their care.

"Utilizing an out-of-network provider may result in higher costs for you," United wrote in the letter, according to Crain's New York Business News. "Unfortunately, we have not yet reached an agreement with them, and the deadline for the contract is rapidly approaching."

Oxford Health Plans insures half of New York's small-group market, so letting the contract lapse could have had major impacts in the city.