UnitedHealthcare Cuts Missouri Physicians From Medicare Advantage; Cites No-Cause Termination

UnitedHealthcare has announced a second round of physicians will be removed from the company's Medicare Advantage plan on Sept. 1, according to an article in St. Louis Today.

In April, UnitedHealthcare cut almost 100 physicians from its plan in Missouri and said that eventually 5 percent to 7 percent of the state's roughly 10,000 physicians would be eliminated this year.

UnitedHealthcare is the largest carrier of Medicare Advantage plans for seniors in the nation with about 95,000 plan members in Missouri, according to the report.

There has been no final number of terminated physicians and the payer officially cited the cuts as "no-cause terminations." The payer is not required to give cause of termination, but this makes it harder for physicians to appeal their termination as there is no indication of what aspect of their practice they will need to defend, according to the report.

UnitedHealthcare told St. Louis Today that the main factors for the change were the health industry's move toward quality over quantity and a closer collaboration between payers and physicians.

Missouri is not the only state where UnitedHealthcare is making cuts: By the end of the year, the company expects to be 10 percent to 15 percent smaller than it was at the beginning of 2013, according to the report.

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