A new UnitedHealthcare policy intended to cut down on emergency department (ED) visits and costs faced such a backlash from providers and policymakers that it has been withdrawn—at least for now. The new policy—originally set to go into effect July 1—was designed to deny or limit coverage for ED commercial claims United deemed non-emergent.
“Plain and simple, this is a very misguided policy that could have a chilling effect for people going to the emergency room,” Rick Pollack, the chief executive of the American Hospital Association, told the New York Times.
On Thursday, June 10, United announced its decision to delay the new policy, citing opposition from many groups: “Based on feedback from our provider partners and discussions with medical societies, we have decided to delay the implementation of our emergency department policy until at least the end of the national public health emergency period,” it said in a statement.
Learn more about the United decision in this article from Fierce Healthcare. VHAN will keep track of future policy updates from UnitedHealthcare and other payors. Stay tuned to VHAN communications for more details.