ALBANY — One of the Capital Region’s largest health insurance providers and St. Peter’s Health Partners have settled a contract dispute that could have threatened patients’ access to the St. Peter’s multicounty network.
The new patient services deal between CDPHP and the network that operates St. Peter’s Hospital was struck just weeks after the two sides went public with complaints about the status of negotiations.
“We are pleased to have reached an agreement with St. Peter’s Health Partners and we remain committed to fighting for affordable health care for the communities that we serve,” said CDPHP President and CEO Dr. John D. Bennett.
The current contract expires on Jan. 1. CDPHP spokeswoman Ali Skinner wouldn’t say how long the new contract is for, but noted that a tentative agreement was reached several weeks ago, though not official until Wednesday.
CDPHP has about 448,000 members in the Capital Region, while the St. Peter’s network includes St. Peter’s Hospital, Albany Memorial Hospital, St. Mary’s and Samaritan hospitals in Troy, and Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital in Schenectady. St. Peter’s also operates a network of community health clinics and urgent care centers in the region. It has about 350 doctors and about 12,500 total staff.
Large health insurance providers such as CDPHP typically negotiate discounted prices for members to go to health care facilities, though it is unusual for contract disputes to become public. In such negotiations, health care providers have the incentive of obtaining access to a large group of potential patients.
“Strong partnerships with health care insurers, like CDPHP, are important to support and advance the quality of health care we provide to the community,” said Dr. James K. Reed, president and CEO of St. Peter’s Health Partners.
Reed said CDPHP was one of the partnership’s “most significant partners.”
“This contract will enable us to continue making important investments to retain and recruit physicians and staff, upgrade technology, and update facilities,” Reed said. “All of these factors translate directly into the delivery of high-quality care our community expects from St. Peter’s Health Partners.”