UnitedHealth sues TeamHealth, saying it overpaid $100 million in claims

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UnitedHealthcare has sued TeamHealth Holdings alleging fraud for over-inflating health care codes to get larger reimbursement.

In a single case in point, a 23-yr-outdated gentleman sought treatment for indigestion soon after taking in a chili pet dog and the physician gave him Maalox and sent him household, UnitedHealth stated in the lawsuit. “TeamHealth submitted a declare to the United Plaintiffs indicating that it had presented that member with emergency health care treatment of especially substantial complexity less than exigent situations,” the complaint stated. The corporation allegedly billed UHC $one,712.

TeamHealth CEO Leif Murphy replied to the lawsuit with this assertion: “Courts have repeatedly dismissed these claims in other jurisdictions. This frivolous lawsuit is a calculated exertion to divert focus absent from the court case commencing Monday, November one, in Las Vegas, brought by TeamHealth affiliate Fremont Unexpected emergency Drugs against UnitedHealthcare for their gross underpayment of frontline clinicians. In truth, the District Courtroom in Nevada dismissed this precise declare by United in the guide up to the demo.  
“United carries on to crank out record revenue by down coding claims and refusing to consider the skills of frontline clinicians who make a diagnosis. Even throughout a pandemic, United makes use of techniques like these to income off the backs of emergency medicine companies who are on the frontline dealing with individuals and risking their own life. The bottom line is the much less UnitedHealth reimburses, the additional revenue they make.” 

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in the Eastern District of Tennessee on October 27. UHC wishes a jury demo, damages, court prices and other fees.

“TeamHealth upcoded tens or hundreds of countless numbers of claims for ER solutions, resulting in UHC overpaying by additional than $100 million,” UHC claimed in the lawsuit.

WHY THIS Matters

UnitedHealth alleges that since 2016, TeamHealth has upcoded claims and dedicated fraud by misrepresenting the solutions presented.

The United plaintiffs reviewed tens of countless numbers of professional well being gains claims submitted by TeamHealth and determined that nicely over fifty percent of the claims TeamHealth submitted to United employing the two highest amount CPT codes for ER visits – roughly 60% – really should have utilized lower-amount CPT codes for dealing with plan well being complications, these as sore throats and ear infections.

TeamHealth operates a single of the largest emergency home staffing and billing firms in the U.S. It affiliate marketers with or acquires health care teams across the region that have contracts with hospitals and well being units less than which the health care teams workers healthcare facility emergency rooms, in accordance to UHC.

“But this is in which the health care groups’ involvement finishes,” the lawsuit stated.

TeamHealth handles coding and billing from centralized billing facilities, then submits the claims to insurers less than the title of its affiliate or acquired health care group. 

No ER physician profited, UHC stated. Physicians have been paid out a flat, hourly level.

THE Bigger Trend

TeamHealth was acquired by non-public fairness business Blackstone in 2017. Since then, the corporation has manufactured an “intense pursuit of income” that has drawn the ire of individuals, insurers, and the authorities, UHC stated in the lawsuit.

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
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