PacifiCare Parent Company Under Fire From CMA
The California Medical Association says its member physicians are experiencing "significant delays" with United Healthcare's new contract processes, contract terminations and rate changes, the San Francisco Business Times reports. United Healthcare is the parent company of PacifiCare.
CMA wants the Department of Managed Health Care and the Department of Insurance to investigate delays, underpayments and other errors on physicians' contracts that CMA says stem from the insurer's inadequate "administrative capacity."
Cheryl Randolph, spokesperson for United Healthcare, said only about 20 problems have surfaced statewide since August 2006, from a network of about 50,000 physicians.
CMA argues that about one in five complaints it receives are about United Healthcare, up from one in 20 last year.
CMA has been working with a liaison team from United Healthcare to resolve some of the contract disputes, but so far, there has been no indication that the efforts have been successful, according to Aileen Wetzel, associate director of CMA's Center for Economic Services.
CMA represents 35,000 doctors statewide (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 3/19).