April 13, 2024

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UnitedHealth sues TeamHealth, saying it overpaid $100 million in claims

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UnitedHealthcare has sued TeamHealth Holdings alleging fraud for over-inflating medical codes to get bigger reimbursement.

In 1 instance, a 23-12 months-old male sought procedure for indigestion after taking in a chili pet dog and the medical doctor gave him Maalox and despatched him residence, UnitedHealth stated in the lawsuit. “TeamHealth submitted a declare to the United Plaintiffs indicating that it had presented that member with unexpected emergency medical treatment of specially significant complexity under exigent conditions,” the grievance stated. The organization allegedly billed UHC $1,712.

TeamHealth CEO Leif Murphy replied to the lawsuit with this statement: “Courts have consistently dismissed these statements in other jurisdictions. This frivolous lawsuit is a calculated effort to divert notice absent from the court docket situation commencing Monday, November 1, in Las Vegas, introduced by TeamHealth affiliate Fremont Unexpected emergency Medicine against UnitedHealthcare for their gross underpayment of frontline clinicians. In truth, the District Court in Nevada dismissed this actual declare by United in the direct up to the trial.  
“United proceeds to produce record income by down coding statements and refusing to think about the know-how of frontline clinicians who make a diagnosis. Even during a pandemic, United makes use of practices like these to financial gain off the backs of unexpected emergency drugs suppliers who are on the frontline treating patients and jeopardizing their very own life. The bottom line is the considerably less UnitedHealth reimburses, the a lot more income they make.” 

The lawsuit was filed in federal court docket in the Eastern District of Tennessee on Oct 27. UHC would like a jury trial, damages, court docket expenditures and other charges.

“TeamHealth upcoded tens or hundreds of 1000’s of statements for ER expert services, ensuing in UHC overpaying by a lot more than $100 million,” UHC claimed in the lawsuit.


UnitedHealth alleges that since 2016, TeamHealth has upcoded statements and committed fraud by misrepresenting the expert services presented.

The United plaintiffs reviewed tens of 1000’s of business well being rewards statements submitted by TeamHealth and determined that properly over 50 % of the statements TeamHealth submitted to United making use of the two maximum amount CPT codes for ER visits – around sixty% – really should have used reduced-amount CPT codes for treating program well being challenges, these types of as sore throats and ear infections.

TeamHealth operates 1 of the major unexpected emergency space staffing and billing organizations in the U.S. It affiliate marketers with or acquires medical groups across the country that have contracts with hospitals and well being units under which the medical groups workers medical center unexpected emergency rooms, in accordance to UHC.

“But this is in which the medical groups’ involvement ends,” the lawsuit stated.

TeamHealth handles coding and billing from centralized billing centers, then submits the statements to insurers under the identify of its affiliate or obtained medical group. 

No ER medical doctor profited, UHC stated. Doctors were being paid a flat, hourly charge.

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TeamHealth was obtained by private fairness firm Blackstone in 2017. Considering the fact that then, the organization has made an “aggressive pursuit of financial gain” that has drawn the ire of patients, insurers, and the governing administration, UHC stated in the lawsuit.

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
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