UnitedHealth faces California legal challenges

UnitedHealth Group is facing a host of legal troubles in California, where both regulators and a large group of independent physicians are accusing the plan of financial and operational misconduct. Two of the state's agencies have begun investigating whether the health plan has been making late and inaccurate payments, as well as restricting patient access to care. The agencies are responding to a high volume of complaints alleging that the plan held up physician payments and paid claims inaccurately, which resulted in physicians limiting acceptance of the plan.

Meanwhile, a Sacramento radiology group is suing United Health over similar charges, namely that the plan isn't paying them what it should. The group says UnitedHealth isn't honoring the terms of its contract with PacifiCare Health Systems, which merged with UnitedHealth two years ago. The group, Radiological Associates of Sacramento Medical Group, is the largest private radiology and radiation oncology practice in Northern California, with 23 centers through the area.

To find out more about UnitedHealth's problems:
- read this Sacramento Business Journal article