State Attorney General asks feds to look into UnitedHealthcare’s planned drop of doctors in Medicare Advantage plan

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Attorney General George Jepsen today asked federal regulators to “aggressively scrutinize” UnitedHealthcare’s decision to end relationships with “a large number” of doctors in its Medicare Advantage Plan network in the state.

This from jepsen’s office:

“Reports surfaced last month that UnitedHealthcare is dropping a significant number of doctors from its Medicare Advantage Plan networks beginning next year. Despite communications with the Office of the Attorney General, however, the company has failed to disclose the number of doctors to whom it has sent, or plans to send, termination notices.

 

“As you know, my office lacks the authority to resolve these important issues regarding a federally administered program,” the Attorney General wrote today to the regional director of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. “Consequently, I urge your agency to aggressively scrutinize this large and potentially harmful provider termination initiative.”

 

The Attorney General also noted that UnitedHealthcare has yet to notify affected patients and that the open enrollment period closes on December 7, 2013.

 

“My office has recently been informed that doctor termination letters, which were dated October 31, 2013, are just now beginning to be received by affected physicians,” the Attorney General wrote. “As a number of those physicians have pointed out, because they have a 30-day period during which to appeal United’s termination, a final determination regarding their participation status will not be made until after the closure of the open enrollment period.”

 

The Attorney General asked that federal regulators consider extending the open enrollment period for United’s Medicare Advantage Plan affected members.

 

Assistant Attorneys General Thomas Ryan and Charles Hulin, with Special Counsel Robert Clark, are assisting the Attorney General with this matter.”

 

Categories: General

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