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Carrier, New York Hospital Negotiate Truce

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Representatives for Oxford Health Insurance Inc. and Jamaica Hospital Medical Center say they will let Oxford patients use the hospital while contract negotiations continue.

Oxford, a unit of UnitedHealth Group Inc., Minnetonka, Minn., recently warned patients and doctors that it would stop paying for services rendered by Jamaica Hospital, a 387-bed hospital in New York City, on an in-network basis May 1.

Representatives for Jamaica Hospital say they believe Oxford was responsible for terminating what is supposed to be a 3-year, non-cancelable network contract. Lawyers for the hospital sued in state court to keep Oxford from terminating the network contract.

Oxford was under the impression that Jamaica Hospital had initiated the process of canceling the network contract, according to Oxford spokeswoman Mary Gordon Shydlo.

“We certainly want to have them in the network,” Shydlo says.

At press time, Shydlo said she could not say why Oxford had been under the impression that Jamaica Hospital was trying to withdraw from its network.