The region's largest hospital system and one of its largest insurers said Tuesday they are trying to resolve their stalemate, nearly a month after the contract between United Healthcare and BayCare Health System expired.
BayCare said Tuesday it has "resumed a dialogue" with United, but it couldn't offer a time frame for resolving a standoff that has left nearly a half-million United members in Tampa Bay with limited access to major hospitals including Morton Plant-Mease, St. Joseph's and St. Anthony's.
"This is a complex negotiation, and there are still some significant hurdles," BayCare spokeswoman Amy Lovett said in an email.
United spokeswoman Elizabeth Calzadilla-Fiallo confirmed the statement. Lovett said the two sides have met, but she couldn't provide further details under the terms of their confidentiality agreement.
The news came on the same day that United was supposed to speak at an evening town hall meeting of the Hillsborough County Medical Association, representing more than 1,400 physicians and medical students.
The meeting was supposed to provide a forum for physicians to air concerns about the disruption of care to their patients.
But United decided that a public meeting wasn't the appropriate setting to discuss specific patient care issues, instead offering physicians a direct phone number to its medical director.