Dec 12, 2018

UnitedHealthcare, Envision settle payment dispute

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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Protests for George Floyd continue for 10th day

Thousands of protesters march over the Brooklyn Bridge on June 4 in New York City. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

All four former Minneapolis police officers have been charged for George Floyd’s death and are in custody, including Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, who were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

The latest: Crowds gathered in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Thursday evening and in Atlanta, Georgia, despite the rain. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms joined demonstrators on Thursday. Demonstrators in Washington, D.C. dispersed following a thunderstorm and rain warning for the region.

Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

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The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.