No Surprise Here, UnitedHealth Rides Again

It’s not any surprise to those who’ve followed the sordid history of UnitedHealth Group to see that the company is being sued by the Attorney General of New York for manipulating the reimbursement rates for their insured who go outside of the network for their care.

It seems United reimburses its customers based on a formula which calculates the "customary" charges for services in the New York area. Of course, the "customary" charges are calculated by a third party. In this case a company called Ingenix, which happens to be owned by UnitedHealth.

An investigation by the state showed that a "customary" charge for a doctor visit in New York City was $200. Ingenix said it was $77. I don’t know if any of you have been to the doctor lately, but the charge in Minneapolis passed $77 quite some time ago. I’m fairly certain that I read somewhere that New York is more expensive to live in than Minneapolis.

As NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said, “We believe there was an industrywide scheme perpetuated by some of the
nation’s largest health insurers to deceive and defraud consumers.”

Ya think?