Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Obamacare Fallout: UnitedHealthcare to Cut Doctors for Massachusett's Seniors

.. And don't think this won't affect your state down the road .. if it hasn't already:
National insurance giant UnitedHealthcare plans to cut up to 700 Massachusetts doctors from its physician network for seniors enrolled in its private Medicare plan as a way to control costs, according to company officials.
For elderly patients enrolled in the plan, the cuts mean they will have to find a new doctor or eventually switch to a new health plan that covers their current doctor.
The move, effective Sept. 1, follows similar cuts made by the insurer to its Medicare Advantage provider networks in 11 other states, including in Rhode Island and Connecticut, where the reductions drew outrage from patients, doctors, and lawmakers earlier this year.
UnitedHealthcare is the country’s largest provider of privately managed Medicare Advantage plans, and the ongoing cuts have prompted lawsuits by doctors, state investigations, and recent federal policy changes to better protect consumers. There is also pending legislation in Congress to prevent health plans from cutting physicians mid-year.
UnitedHealthcare officials said the Massachusetts cuts, which will trim 2 to 4 percent of its 18,600 Bay State physicians, will most affect patients receiving care from doctors in the Boston metropolitan area of Middlesex and Suffolk counties. They would not specify where the cuts would occur.
The insurer said it would not be dropping any hospitals from its Massachusetts coverage, as it has done — to much controversy — in other states, including Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut and Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa.
The changes come amid a gradual reduction of reimbursements to private insurers that offer Medicare Advantage plans as a way to offset costs associated with President Obama’s health reform law. (emphasis mine)
read the rest of the story HERE.

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