New York AG expands health plan investigation

A few weeks ago, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo made national news when he filed suit against UnitedHealth Group, arguing that the plan is committing consumer fraud in how it sets rates for paying out-of-network physicians. Specifically, he argued that UnitedHealth Group's Ingenix subsidiary, whose services are used by many other insurers, set artificially low rates that unfairly saddled consumers with excess charges. At the time, he promised that he'd also be investigating several other health insurers operating in the state on similar charges.

Now, Cuomo is following through, issuing subpoenas to a long list of additional health plans, including Aetna, Cigna, WellPoint, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, Excellus and the combined Group Health/HIP Health Plan. (To date, no subpoena for Ingenix has been issued, though Cuomo is in talks with the firm.) Not only does Cuomo want the plans' CEOs to testify as to whether they knew Ingenix's fee structure was artificially low, he's also asking for all e-mail correspondence involving the CEOs, as well as their COOs, CFOs, presidents and employees who supervise claims.

To learn more about Cuomo's case:
- read this Associated Press piece

Related Articles:
New York sues UnitedHealth over MD payments. Report
United Healthcare to pay $12M to settle complaints. Report
CA accuses UnitedHealth of 'unfair' practices. Article
NY AG concerned about MD ranking system. Report

Suggested Articles

The profit margins and management of Community Health Group raise questions about oversight of managed care insurers.

Financial experts are warning practices about the pitfalls of promoting medical credit cards to their patients.

A proposed rule issued by HHS on Tuesday would expand short-term coverage, a move Seema Verma said will have "virtually no impact" on ACA premiums.