Deal between United Healthcare, Montefiore not settled

The clock is ticking for approximately 60,000 New Yorkers who could be looking at higher medical bills after the new year if a deal is not reached between United Healthcare and Montefiore Medical Center. 
Both sides have been at an impasse over medical rates since the summer. If an agreement is not reached, Montefiore would no longer be part of United Healthcare’s network. 
The medical center released a statement on the issue saying, “ Come January 1, United will block 60,000 Montefiore doctors at in-network rates because United has refused to negotiate in good faith. Montefiore remains focused on our patients, our community and on avoiding any disruption of care.”
Rep.-elect Ritchie Torres joined local community leaders Tuesday to call on United Healthcare to put patients over profit, especially during the pandemic. 
United Healthcare says it has acted in good faith. The insurance provider released a statement saying, "Montefiore is already the most expensive hospital system in New York City, yet it’s demanding a nearly 30% price hike and using New York’s most vulnerable residents to pressure us to accept its rate demands.” 
News 12 reached out to Montefiore Medical Center on pricing. It responded by saying, "Montefiore Medical Center is in the top 15th percentile of the most cost-efficient, or lowest-cost provider, of academic hospitals across the country," she said, citing CMS data. "In addition, when we look at ourselves adjusted for cost of living and payer mix, we are the single-most cost-efficient."
United Healthcare says none of its members would be dropped from its health plans because of stalled contract negotiations. 
The company says it's advising Montefiore patients to use in-network doctors and services to avoid higher medical costs. 
Meanwhile, both sides continue to negotiate at the bargaining table. They have until Dec. 31. to reach an agreement.