Injunction stops insurer from dropping physicians

December 13, 2013
Injunction stops insurer from dropping physicians

(HealthDay)—United Healthcare has been given a last-minute temporary restraining order preventing it from removing thousands of physicians from its Medicare Advantage networks in Connecticut, according to an article published Dec. 6 in Medical Economics.

The journal reports that the Hartford County Medical Association and Fairfield County Medical Association had sought the temporary restraining order. U.S. District Court Judge Stefan Underhill ruled on Dec. 6 that the associations had sufficiently demonstrated that they would suffer imminent harm for which adequate compensation through damages was not possible. United Healthcare stated that it intends to immediately appeal the decision.

Judge Underhill ruled that United Healthcare would have violated Medicare regulations and appeared to have breached its contract with by removing them without cause or explanation, according to the article. United Healthcare stated during oral arguments that it routinely amends contracts without physician consent to allow for their removal, but the judge noted that no evidence for this was provided in follow-up documents.

The majority of the approximately 2,200 affected physicians are reported to be in Hartford, New Haven, and New London counties. The medical associations say that 20,000 to 30,000 patients would have been affected, according to the article.

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