Washington, DC – In a letter to United HealthGroup (UHG), U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and U.S. Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-3), John Larson (D-CT-1), Joe Courtney (D-CT-2), Jim Himes (D-CT-4), and Elizabeth Esty (D-CT-5) called for the nation’s largest insurer to reinstate all Connecticut providers on its Medicare Advantage network while it appeals a U.S. District Court decision to uphold an injunction preventing the removal of these providers.
Full text of the letter is below:
December 19, 2013
Mr. Jack Larsen
Chief Executive Officer
9700 Healthcare Lane
Minnetonka, MN 55343
Dear Mr. Larsen,
We write to express our dissatisfaction with your refusal to follow the spirit—if not the letter—of the temporary injunction regarding Fairfield County Medical Association et al v. United to prevent the removal of affected physicians from UnitedHealth Group’s (UHG) Medicare Advantage (MA) network. On December 5, 2013, the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut ordered UHG to reinstate the physician members of the medical associations in order to avoid irreparable harm from the contract terminations. UHG is apparently in the process of determining which doctors are members of the medical associations that filed the lawsuit in order to determine which doctors will remain in network. Regardless of whether this approach may technically comply with the legal order, we urge UHG to reconsider allowing all providers to remain in the MA network in Connecticut until the end of the current contract year.
UHG has repeatedly stated that this action has the goal of allowing UHG to exercise greater influence over their network in response to federal efforts to control spending on health care and improve quality outcomes. We heard from numerous constituents who are confused and concerned about the status of their doctor with UHG MA network. UHG’s limited response to the court’s efforts to prevent irreparable harm has only increased the concerns of patients and providers in Connecticut. Therefore, we again ask you to consider our previous request to retain the providers in network.
While UHG has the ability to adjust its network within the guidelines set out by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the contracts between UHG and the providers, the magnitude of these terminations and the process that UHG used lead us to renew our request that UHG reconsider these termination decisions. We look forward to hearing your response to this request and please contact Laurel Sakai (202-224-2823) with any questions.
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, U.S. Representatives Rosa L. DeLauro, John B. Larson, Joe Courtney, Jim Himes, Elizabeth H. Esty