CT Physicians, UnitedHealth Head to Mediation

Jacqueline Fellows, for HealthLeaders Media , January 23, 2014

"We are pleased that the court recognized the importance of our appeal by expediting its review of the preliminary injunction," said Jessica Pappas, spokeswoman for UnitedHealth.

CAMP is a mediation process in the 2nd Circuit overseen by a court-appointed attorney and typically used before the court hears arguments. It's "unusual" that the court ordered the two sides to CAMP after oral arguments, but this week's hearing was expedited and mediation wasn't realistic, says attorney Roy Breitenbach, who is representing both the Fairfield & Hartford county medical associations.

"Mediation begins next week," says Breitenbach. "CAMP usually lasts about a day. The court-appointed attorney will then decide if it's worth having another session."

If there isn't room for agreement and a settlement seems unlikely, then the two sides will have to wait for the court's ruling, which Breitenbach estimates could be "one or two months."

The court's decisions may have an impact beyond Connecticut. The matter is being watched closely in New York, where the Medical Society of the State of New York has filed suit against the insurer for the same issue—dropping MA providers.

A Narrowing of Networks
UnitedHealth is narrowing its network of providers to deal with the 6.5% MA reimbursement rate reduction last year (and another cut expected this year) that helps pay for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

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