Wednesday, September 08, 2010
UnitedHealth, parent of Evercare, faces possible $9.9 billion fine in California
by Larry Geller
Oh, don’t worry, in the end they’ll cut a deal.
UnitedHealth is the parent of one of the two Mainland companies selected by Hawaii’s Department of Human Services to provide managed care under DHS’s QExA program. There is no connection between the Hawaii company and the California company (PacifiCare) other than having the same parent.
California regulators are seeking fines of up to $9.9 billion from a unit of health insurer UnitedHealth Group Inc, citing mismanaged medical claims, failure to pay doctors and other lapses.
The California Department of Insurance alleges that PacifiCare violated state law nearly a million times from 2006 to 2008 after it was purchased by UnitedHealth, the largest U.S. health insurer by market value. [New York Times (Reuters), California Seeks to Fine UnitedHealth Up to $9.9 Billion, 9/8/2010]
By the time this works its way through appeals and negotiations, it’s unlikely that UnitedHealth would pay the maximum $9.9 billion mentioned in the article. That’s the way these things go. One indicator: the Reuters article mentions that shares of UhitedHealth were up a bit in afternoon trading.
This is our private for profit heath care system at it's best, ripping off middle class working people who pay premiums to enhance CEO bonuses.
Doesn't surprise me as physicians, providers, pharmacist, etc have been complaining about the same issues here in Hawaii about Evercare and Unitedhealth's Medicare programs.