Doctors Accuse UnitedHealthcare of Stifling Competition

Through a proprietary interest of Sound Physician, a large medical practice that provides emergency and anesthesiology services, according to a Texas lawsuit, United Anesthesia is directly confronted with US anesthesia. Sound Physicians is looking to expand into markets such as Fort Worth and Houston, and claims in a US anesthesia lawsuit that its doctors were forced by Sound Physician to “induce them to leave” and to work with the combined group I was approached to challenge the unlawful provisions. .

The major insurer throws its weight around in other ways, the lawsuit claims. While the company’s Optum unit, which operates surgery centers and clinics, is technically separate from the health insurer, doctors forced United to change its relationship with the anesthesiology group for its OptumCare facilities and expand its operation Accused of advancing in-network surgeons to run. Hospitals or facilities that do not have contracts with US anesthesia.

Doctors have claimed in their lawsuit that United and its partners have extended their principles in every aspect of health care, allowing United to squeeze, choke, and crush any market participant.

It is standard practice, United said, for an insurer to encourage the use of hospitals and doctors within its network.

Unlike many smaller physician groups, which have been struggling due to the epidemic, United has maintained a strong financial position, reducing elective surgeries and discontinuing other procedures, resulting in fewer medical claims. So it has continued to expand, hiring more doctors and purchasing additional practices. The company says it plans to add more than 10,000 employed or affiliated doctors this year.

The relationship between insurers and providers has become more complex as more insurance carriers have their own doctors’ groups or clinics. “They want to be referees and play on another team,” said Michael Turpin, a former United TRAI executive.

Employers who rely on Unitedhealthcare to cover their employees have a difficult time deciding which benefits occur when insurers fail to reach an agreement to place providers in the network. “It’s just as much about profit as it is about principle,” Mr. Turpin said.

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