Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

BayCare hospitals to stay in Aetna insurance system

Dunedin retiree Charles Callaghan has been going to Morton Plant Hospital since he was in the third grade. With knee problems and joint pain, "I just about live at the osteopathic building they have over there."

So a recent contract dispute between BayCare Health Systems and Aetna had him worried. Along with about 300,000 other Tampa Bay area residents insured by Aetna, he faced the prospect of finding new doctors and new hospitals if Aetna and Morton Plant's corporate parent couldn't settle their differences by Dec. 31.

That worry evaporated Wednesday, when the two sides announced a new three-year deal for the hospitals to remain in Aetna's network.

"We serve the community," said BayCare executive Isaac Mallah, "and when we don't have an agreement with a managed care provider, it cuts access off, and we don't want to do that."

Stuart Kilpinen, Aetna's network vice president for the Tampa Bay area, echoed those now warm sentiments: "The BayCare facilities are an important part of our area network, and we're happy to be extending that affiliation."

Last-minute negotiations are common among hospitals and insurance providers when contracts expire. But this one held particular concern because the BayCare system includes many of the Tampa Bay area's most popular hospitals, including St. Anthony's in St. Petersburg, the St. Joseph's hospitals in Tampa, the Morton Plant hospitals in Clearwater and New Port Richey and the Mease hospitals in Dunedin.

Without BayCare, north Pinellas residents like Callaghan and his wife would have no available hospital between Largo Medical Center and Helen Ellis in Tarpon Springs, which are 20 miles apart.

"We were almost in a tizzy," said Callaghan, 51. He is disabled and gets insurance coverage through his wife's job. "We are paying a fortune as it is for health care. And then put us back burner."

Neither Aetna nor BayCare officials would reveal details of the deal.

BayCare hospitals to stay in Aetna insurance system 12/24/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 24, 2008 9:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics

    Blogs

    Winner of the week 1: 'Liquor wall’ proponents. Gov. Rick Scott’s veto of a bill to allow Walmart, Target and other big box stores to sell liquor was a victory for an array of groups, from smaller merchants and Publix (which has stand-alone booze shops near its stores) to those who feel the hard stuff …

  2. Review / photos: Sunset Music Festival brings Major Lazer, safety upgrades to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa

    Blogs

    Somewhere beyond the barricades and mountainous LED stages of the Sunset Music Festival, there had to be worry. There had to thousands of parents in parking lots and empty kitchens, anxiously distracting their minds, every now and then checking their phones.

    Major Lazer headlined the Sunset Music Festival on May 27, 2017 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
  3. 24-year-old man charged with murder in shooting at Andrea Cove Motel

    LARGO — Pinellas sheriff's officers arrested a 24-year-old transient man Saturday in connection with a homicide at the Andrea Cove Motel in unincorporated Largo.

  4. Photo gallery: Calvary Christian rolls to state title

    Blogs

    View a gallery of images from Calvary Christian's defeat of Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers for the Class 4A title.

    Calvary Christian players circle up on the field before the FHSAA class 4A baseball championship against Pensacola Catholic on Friday May 27, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary scored 6 runs in the first inning, and had 7 hits.
  5. Two girls found safe after being reported missing in New Port Richey

    UPDATE: Both girls were found safe Saturday night, police said.