UnitedHealth drops doctors from Medicare Advantage Plans


UnitedHealth (UNH) has cut thousands of doctors from its Medicare Advantage Plans in recent weeks, due to what the company calls "significant changes and pressures in the healthcare environment."

Physicians can appeal within 30 days, leaving uncertainty about which doctors are in or out of the the schemes ahead of a patient deadline to switch Medicare plans on December 7.

UnitedHealth's move comes as the Obama administration plans to reduce funding for Medicare Advantage in order to pay for the healthcare law.

Patients, doctors group and politicians are understandably not happy with UnitedHealth's actions, and the first lawsuit has already been filed.

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Comments (14)
  • nemonemo
    , contributor
    Comments (337) | Send Message
     
    Thank you Obama. Next disaster in making is EPA.
    17 Nov 2013, 04:45 AM Reply Like
  • chopchop0
    , contributor
    Comments (5156) | Send Message
     
    But, but he told me "I could keep my plan and my doctor"
    17 Nov 2013, 09:13 AM Reply Like
  • bgold1955
    , contributor
    Comments (2350) | Send Message
     
    Advantage programs came about via the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 and went into effect in 2005. Although there were previous supplemental plans for Medicare, I noticed while taking care of elderly parents that charges and additional procedures for the last surviving parent were quite different from the one that died in the late 90's vs the latter one who died in 2008.

     

    I was astonished at what I perceived as grossly wasteful healthcare practices with the last surviving parent. So was my wife who was an RN. So it really doesn't surprise me that the costs are prohibitive from an insuring point of view as the 80% pay for threshold went to 100%, in a lot of cases, rather than a more expense cautious environment of yesteryear.

     

    The cost, due to massive waste, is not sustainable as the first 80% is on the taxpayer dime and apparently the subsidies for Advantage plans are being reeled in.
    17 Nov 2013, 10:18 AM Reply Like
  • j1942
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
     
    UHC is cutting physicians from all plans. Mostly primary providers-- they want to control who lives and who dies. The CEO is not happy with millions of dollars in bonuses and he wants billions. It is irrelevant to him(her) that people will die. Greed is all that matters.

     

    By the way, they are also moving patent protect drugs to higher tiers and doubling (100%) copays. For those on fixed incomes the increase in copay overwhelms the increase in income. Ahhhh, the CEO may get his billions after all!
    17 Nov 2013, 01:20 PM Reply Like
  • nemonemo
    , contributor
    Comments (337) | Send Message
     
    It has everything to do with regulations. Those doctors are kicked out due to Obamacare imposed regulations. Remember blaming chinese for taking jobs. Oh well it was regulations and unions.
    17 Nov 2013, 01:31 PM Reply Like
  • skgfrnd
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    Specifically name three of those regulations.
    17 Nov 2013, 08:06 PM Reply Like
  • Claude123
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
     
    Astonishingly ignorant post. The CEO appropriate salary question aside, simply divide their pay by the number of members in the plan and you would see it's LESS than a buck or two annually for each member. Take all CEO money and the impact to healthcare is almost negligible.

     

    So if you can get beyond the bias, there must be other factors involved. Here are a few other ideas that may have been contributory factors.

     

    1. Government regulation forces questionable benefits. Dropping some doctors would be a strategy to control risk.
    2. Physician processing cost. Some physicians may be just too expensive to keep on the books. They can't seem to submit claims right causing increased costs. With the ACA, this may be a factor
    3. The need to remove higher service cost providers. In trying to keep a cap on costs, higher cost providers cannot be included in some plans.
    18 Nov 2013, 09:24 AM Reply Like
  • j1942
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
     
    Basically, UHC has no valid reason to do what they did. Their lawyers, using loopholes in the existing laws, made the move to reduce fees for service-- of course, the CEO's of UHC will benefit and their bonuses will double. Finally, like good dna deficient republicans that they are their rationale will be "Obama made me do it"

     

    By the way, UHC is also increasing the tier levels of medicines they cannot control (they now own Optumux LLC). The copay increases were not raises 5, 10 or 15%. They were raised by 100%, the patients have no recourse but to comply. Greed, greed and more greed.
    17 Nov 2013, 01:21 PM Reply Like
  • nemonemo
    , contributor
    Comments (337) | Send Message
     
    Read 2000 pages of Obamacare. You will see many clauses that forced them to kick out many doctors.
    17 Nov 2013, 01:32 PM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
    , contributor
    Comments (708) | Send Message
     
    “Finally, like good dna deficient republicans that they are their rationale will be "Obama made me do it"

     

    What an interesting comment. The health insurance industry has spent billions, if not tens or hundreds of billions lobbying for the ACA while Republicans have been trying to repeal it. CEO’s throughout the health insurance industry personally contributed millions of $$ to Obama’s reelection campaign while Republicans have (again) tried to repeal it. How much money did the health care industry contribute to the Republicans? I don’t see any connection between Republicans and the ACA; perhaps you could elaborate on the ‘DNA’ connection. I don’t understand how any part of the ACA can fail considering it was written (but not read) by the illuminati of the Democratic Party. Obamacare was to be our salvation from those greedy insurance companies. Does this mean it isn’t working? (That was rhetorical)

     

    With health insurance companies kicking far more people off their rolls than they are signing up, I was salivating while preparing my list of companies to short, but it appears those DNA deficient Republicans (joined by some equally DNA deficient Democrats) are trying to prevent not only millions of Americans from losing their health insurance, but the collapse of the insurance industry, deserved or not.

     

    It’s unfortunate that some people seem to be unable or unwilling to assign blame squarely on those who crafted this legislation, not those who have been trying to get rid of it.
    18 Nov 2013, 06:25 AM Reply Like
  • chopchop0
    , contributor
    Comments (5156) | Send Message
     
    "Finally, like good dna deficient republicans that they are their rationale will be "Obama made me do it""

     

    Ummmmmmm, except that's the exact reason.

     

    Why do so many liberals try to blame everyone but themselves for problems they create?
    18 Nov 2013, 06:51 AM Reply Like
  • tampabay
    , contributor
    Comments (439) | Send Message
     
    Patients have Plenty RECOURSE...cancel UNH...I did Just bought Humana for better Benefits,better Doctors and I get a Rebate...also sold all my UNH stock, don't care if they make money in the future, I'm done with them
    17 Nov 2013, 08:53 PM Reply Like
  • chopchop0
    , contributor
    Comments (5156) | Send Message
     
    Trading UHC for Humana? That's like jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire! HMOs are terrible
    17 Nov 2013, 09:17 PM Reply Like
  • omyobama
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    I did the same as Tampabay did. Same doctor that was kicked off the UHC is taking Humana and it's a PPO not an HMO. The drugs are also less then UHC. your got to check all plays out there in your area to make a good decision.
    18 Nov 2013, 04:53 PM Reply Like
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