Apr 10, 2018

UnitedHealthcare terminates Envision contract

Envision Healthcare runs emergency rooms. Photo: ERproductions Ltd / Getty Images

UnitedHealthcare "has opted to terminate" its contract with Envision Healthcare and Envision's subsidiaries "no later than January 1, 2019," according to a new court filing. The health insurance giant also is asking the court to force Envision into arbitration to resolve their dispute.

Why you'll hear about this again: Next year, people with UnitedHealthcare coverage would be on the hook for a big chunk of their costs if they get care at an Envision facility or a hospital that uses Envision as a contractor. However, people usually don't know if their care is handled by an outside contractor until well after they get billed.

The details: UnitedHealthcare alleged in its court filing, in response to Envision's initial lawsuit, that Envision had "egregious billing practices" and "engaged in an improper game of hide-the-ball" to pad profits — particularly in emergency rooms that hospitals farmed out to Envision.

  • Envision's original complaint said UnitedHealthcare forced Envision's doctors "to contract with United on unreasonable terms or to be out-of-network." Envision spokesperson Kim Warth reiterated many of the same points from the lawsuit.
  • Regarding the contract termination, Warth said: "We hope to come to an agreement for 2019 and beyond that provides for fair and reasonable reimbursement for the care we provide to patients."
  • Envision has been in the hot seat for months now for its high out-of-network charges that have caught patients off guard.

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U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

More than 62,300 U.S. health care workers have tested positive for the novel coronavirus and at least 291 have died from the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Tuesday. COVID-19 had infected about 9,300 health professionals when the CDC gave its last update on April 17.

By the numbers: More than 98,900 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 384,900 Americans have recovered and more than 14.9 million tests have been conducted.

Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:00 p.m. ET: 5,589,626 — Total deaths: 350,453 — Total recoveries — 2,286,956Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:00 p.m. ET: 1,680,913 — Total deaths: 98,913 — Total recoveries: 384,902 — Total tested: 14,907,041Map.
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  6. Tech: Twitter fact-checks Trump's tweets about mail-in voting for first timeGoogle to open offices July 6 for 10% of workers.
  7. Public health: Coronavirus antibodies could give "short-term immunity," CDC says, but more data is neededCDC releases guidance on when you can be around others after contracting the virus.
  8. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
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World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

There are no COVID-19 patients in hospital in New Zealand, which reported just 21 active cases after days of zero new infections. A top NZ health official said Tuesday he's "confident we have broken the chain of domestic transmission."

By the numbers: Almost 5.5 million people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus as of Tuesday, and more than 2.2 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 14.9 million tests).