NGHS and UnitedHealthcare are negotiating a contract as open enrollment season begins

Published: Friday, October 14, 2022

Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) is in the early stages of an important negotiation for a new contract with UnitedHealthcare (United), hoping to reach an agreement that protects in-network access for patients and fair compensation for the care NGHS provides.

The current contract, which expires April 30, 2023, covers the care NGHS provides to patients with commercial health insurance plans at all of its facilities – including all Northeast Georgia Medical Center hospitals, Northeast Georgia Physicians Group practices, Urgent Care locations, Georgia Heart Institute locations, Laurelwood, long-term care facilities and other outpatient facilities.

“It’s important to stress nothing is changing now, and people with UnitedHealthcare plan coverage should continue to see their NGHS providers and seek care like usual,” said Steve McNeilly, NGHS’ chief operating officer of Population Health and vice president of Managed Care. “We have more than six months to reach a new agreement.

“We simply want to be transparent with our community – especially because it’s open enrollment season for many – so people have all the information available to make the best decisions for themselves and their families. We will keep our patients informed as the negotiations progress.”

Contract negotiations between insurance companies and providers are very common. NGHS started discussions with United earlier this year to allow enough time to reach an agreement and avoid unnecessary disruption. It’s critical that health systems have collaborative partnerships with health insurance companies like United in order to continue providing high-quality care for patients.

What You Can Do

Anyone with concerns about the negotiations have a few things they can do now:

  • Call United at the number on the back of their health insurance card and let them know how much it means for them to have continued, in-network access to NGHS. 
  • Consider all insurance options available that provide in-network access to NGHS.
  • Visit to learn more, get answers to frequently asked questions or ask a different question.