Court decides Envision, UnitedHealthcare must arbitrate: 4 things to know

A district court tossed Nashville, Tenn.-based Envision Healthcare's lawsuit against UnitedHealthcare, effectively compelling the parties to resolve their dispute through arbitration.

Here are four things to know about the decision.

1. The five-page order, filed April 26 in the U.S. District Court of Southern Florida, ruled UnitedHealthcare didn't waive an arbitration provision under the companies' contract, as alleged by Envision. In March, Envision filed a lawsuit against UnitedHealthcare, the insurance arm of UnitedHealth Group, claiming the insurer breached the parties' contract and waived its arbitration clause by unilaterally changing contracted payments.

2. In April, UnitedHealthcare terminated its contract with Envision, effective Jan. 1, 2019, over the dispute. UnitedHealthcare argued Envision was "unwilling to address matters with UHC in a reasonable and satisfactory manner — demonstrated most recently by the filing of [a] lawsuit in blatant disregard of the parties' valid and enforceable arbitration provision," according to court documents.

3. The recent district court ruling, in addition to requiring the companies to arbitrate, granted UnitedHealthcare's motion for a stay of action and dismissed the case without prejudice. 

4. The decision comes after a publicly messy feud. In late March, UnitedHealthcare created a website targeting Envision's "outrageous" billing policies. On March 14, Bloomberg reported UnitedHealthcare tossed its attempt to acquire Envision's ambulatory services unit, according to sources familiar with the matter. Those events all occurred after Envision sued UnitedHealthcare for allegedly lowering contracted payments to Envision physicians and not allowing new Envision medical practices to join its network.

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