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UnitedHealthcare, Envision settle payment dispute

A building with the UnitedHealthcare logo on top.
UnitedHealthcare previously accused Envision Healthcare of "egregious billing practices." Photo: UnitedHealth Group

Envision Healthcare and UnitedHealthcare have reached a new contract, effective Jan. 1, 2019, that will ensure UnitedHealthcare members get in-network hospital care from Envision's doctors.

Why it matters: The contract renewal ends a bitter, months-long feud between one of the country's largest health insurers and a major physician staffing firm, with each side lobbing scathing lawsuits at the other. But we have no idea whether patients got a good deal — financial terms were not disclosed, and both companies declined to comment beyond their press releases.

The bottom line: UnitedHealthcare and Envision trotted out kumbaya phrases in their press releases, but both companies have accused each other of some pretty unsavory things.

  • UnitedHealthcare alleged Envision has engaged in "egregious billing practices," and data "indicates that Envision physicians charge on average 975% of Medicare for their services."
  • Envision alleged UnitedHealthcare "unilaterally" lowered payment rates for its doctors and refused to add new Envision doctors and surgery centers to its insurance networks.
  • Keep in mind, Envision is also a competitor to UnitedHealthcare's sister company Optum, which now owns surgery centers and doctors.
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