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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.

Go deeper

Trump supporter found with pipe bombs accused of plot to attack Democrats

Five improvised explosive devices that the FBI says "were fully operational and could cause great bodily harm or injury if handled improperly." Photo: FBI/Justice Department

The FBI believes California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and the Bay Area headquarters of Twitter and Facebook were targets of a man facing federal explosives charges, according to a criminal complaint.

Driving the news: Prosecutors charged Ian Benjamin Rogers after finding weapons including five pipe bombs, 49 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition following a Jan. 15 search of his Napa County home and auto repair business. His alleged goal was to ensure former President Trump remained in office.

4 hours ago - Health

Fauci: COVID vaccine rollout needs to prioritize people of color

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci highlighted the need to address racial disparities in the COVID-19 vaccination process, per an interview with The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

What he’s saying: "I think that's the one thing we really got to be careful of. We don't want in the beginning ... most of the people who are getting it are otherwise, well, middle-class white people."

The Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers are emerging as troublemakers within their parties and political thorns for their leadership.

Why it matters: We're calling this group "The Mischief Makers" — members who threaten to upend party unity — the theme eclipsing Washington at the moment — and potentially jeopardize the Democrats' or Republicans' position heading into the 2022 midterms.