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Timeline of the United Healthcare/HCA Inc. contract dispute this year:

Aug. 31: Contracts for UHC members to use HCA facilities expire in Denver; Tampa, Fla.; and South Florida. HCA facilities in those areas begin being dropped from the insurer's network.

Sept. 18: UHC's Colorado subsidiaries file suit in U.S. District Court in Colorado alleging that HCA has used its market power in Denver to attempt to extort anticompetitive rates for hospital, ambulatory and imaging services, and asks for temporary restraining order.

Sept. 21: Federal judge rejects UnitedHealth's request for temporary restraining order.

Oct. 19: HCA's East Florida division says it will switch employees participating in its preferred provider organization health plan from a UHC plan to a plan offered by a unit of CIGNA Corp.

Nov. 3: UHC and HCA reach a national agreement that provides UnitedHealth members access to more than 250 HCA hospitals and diagnostic and treatment centers into 2011.