WellPoint added to AMA's class-action lawsuit

The American Medical Association recently argued in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles that Indianapolis-based WellPoint, held its out-of-network reimbursements artificially low for several years. WellPoint used data from UnitedHealth Group subsidiary Ingenix, which the AMA called "a price-fixing scheme." 

WellPoint was added to a class-action lawsuit similar to the one filed against Aetna and Cigna. While WellPoint refused to comment on the situation, AMA spokeswoman Nancy Nielsen cited that "serious damages resulting from prior use of the Ingenix database still need to be addressed." 

A similar $350 million lawsuit against UnitedHealth was finalized in January. An agreement was reached at the same time by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, forcing Aetna, Cigna, UnitedHealth and WellPoint, among others, to cease the use of the Ingenix database for calculating out-of-network reimbursement rates. 

For more:
- here's the Modern Healthcare article
- here's the legal complaint filed against WellPoint (.pdf)

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