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News & Politics News & Politics

Thousands of doctors fired by United HealthCare

Posted by on Oct. 11, 2013 at 8:55 PM
  • 17 Replies
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)-- In the midst of major changes in health care, UnitedHealthCare has sent thousands of pink slips to Connecticut doctors.

Termination letters went to physicians caring for Medicare patients. Those letters were sent out to doctors caring for 'Medicare Advantage' patients. It's a plan, marketed to Seniors to provide additional services through UnitedHealthCare.

A mix of primary care and specialty doctors are affected by it. And it comes at a questionable time.

Open enrollment for Medicare starts next Tuesday, and it's still not clear at this time as to which doctors are still in the United network.

The Connecticut State Medical Society is fighting back. The biggest concern is patient access to healthcare.

"What the government is looking for is to manage better care by adding a patient centered medical home so that you have a doctor who is totally invested with taking care of every aspect of the patient and coordinating it. This is clearly not a patient centered decision," said Dr. Michael Saffir, President of CT State Medical Society.

Dr. Saffir says the State Medical Society is in contact with UnitedHealthcare. They are also asking doctors to call United to find out why they were terminated without cause as notified in the letter.

He recommends that Seniors affected by this should call the office of the HealthCare Advocate of Connecticut.

UPDATE: In an email statement, UnitedHealthCare spokesman Ben Goldstein told News 8, "With the many changes happening in health care, we are building a network of health care providers that we can collaborate with more closely to have the most positive impact on the quality of care for our members. We are prepared to help our members transition to new providers. Members with questions are encouraged to call the customer service number on the back of their member ID card for more information."

Goldstein later wrote "we offer our members one of the most extensive networks of health care providers in Connecticut and remain committed to ensuring they have continued access to quality, affordable care."


http://www.wtnh.com/news/health/thousands-of-doctors-fired-by-united-healthcare
by on Oct. 11, 2013 at 8:55 PM
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Replies (1-10):
DSamuels
by Gold Member on Oct. 11, 2013 at 9:22 PM
3 moms liked this

But you can KEEP your doctor. Obama said so!

liar

jcrew6
by Jenney on Oct. 11, 2013 at 9:42 PM
This comes at a questionable time, indeed...
Carpy
by Platinum Member on Oct. 11, 2013 at 9:43 PM
1 mom liked this

They won't be needed.  By the time people pay their premiums, they won't be able to pay the deductible, so they will still have no healthcare.

X_Patriot_Mom_X
by Member on Oct. 11, 2013 at 9:46 PM

so glad i moved from that commie state sticking out tongue

SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Oct. 12, 2013 at 4:08 AM
1 mom liked this

But I thought Obama said, "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor."

"If you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan."

Etc.

jcrew6
by Jenney on Oct. 12, 2013 at 6:27 AM
"What the government is looking for is to manage better care by adding a patient centered medical home so that you have a doctor who is totally invested with taking care of every aspect of the patient and coordinating it. This is clearly not a patient centered decision," said Dr. Michael Saffir, President of CT State Medical Society.


Government managed care....
PTmomma3
by Member on Oct. 14, 2013 at 1:02 AM
Yeah, this one is really tough to figure out: why in the world would an insurance company suddenly announce they will no longer cover thousands of doctors that their customers use to stay alive at the exact same time of open enrollment? They are usually such savvy business people who are masters of making huge profits, but any idiot could have warned them that people are going to be pissed if you start messing with who they trust with their lives. I mean, why would they not see that if they are forced to choose between their Dr and their insurance company, they'll choose Dr every day of the week. Too bad they can't drop their insurance company but once a year when open enrollment comes around. Who wants to bet those (very expensive) customers will take their (profit eating) business with them elsewhere just as soon as they can!

Quoting jcrew6:

This comes at a questionable time, indeed...
-Celestial-
by Pepperlynn on Oct. 14, 2013 at 2:14 AM

So the thousands they already had were shitty. And now the ACA is putting these ins companies under a microscope. So now they straighten up and fly right.

We had UHC and their network of doctors were crap. We usually went out of network - we paid more - but found better drs


UPDATE: In an email statement, UnitedHealthCare spokesman Ben Goldstein told News 8, "With the many changes happening in health care, we are building a network of health care providers that we can collaborate with more closely to have the most positive impact on the quality of care for our members. We are prepared to help our members transition to new providers. Members with questions are encouraged to call the customer service number on the back of their member ID card for more information."

Goldstein later wrote "we offer our members one of the most extensive networks of health care providers in Connecticut and remain committed to ensuring they have continued access to quality, affordable care."

JustCJ
by on Oct. 14, 2013 at 6:31 AM
4 moms liked this
We the smart kids didn't believe that.

Quoting SallyMJ:

But I thought Obama said, "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor."

"If you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan."

Etc.

purple_panda
by on Oct. 14, 2013 at 7:04 AM
First, the doctors were never employed by UHC therefore they couldn't have been fired. Their in network coverage contract with UHC for Medicare advantage plans may have been terminated BUT that does not mean they cannot see their regular doctor anymore.

Second, with open enrollment coming up people can switch the company they get their Medicare Advantage plan from. The plans are all going to have a similar level of coverage and the majority of them will not require additional premium over what Medicare pays.

Third, Medicare Advantage is just one of the additional privately run Medicare plans. If people are concerned they can also look at Medigap plans.

Fourth, if they Medicare Advantage then they have Medicare part A and probably part B. They can still see their doctors, not having Medicare Advantage cover their doctor *may* change the cost of some of the services but as I stated before with open enrollment coming up they can switch to a company that does. Another option is to call UHC directly and ask them for an exception for your doctor.

These people are hardly left with no options. They have several different choices at this point.
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