'Evil empire' UnitedHealth schemes to underpay providers, Envision suit alleges

Nashville, Tenn.-based Envision Healthcare is suing UnitedHealth Group, accusing the payer of scheming to underpay front-line healthcare providers and push organizations out of network. 

In its lawsuit Envision, a national medical group, claims UnitedHealth issues drastically low "take it or leave it" reimbursement rates during contract negotiations to push providers out of network. And once a provider is out of network with UnitedHealth, the insurer "significantly underpays" that provider, Envision alleges.  

"It is hardly a coincidence that United has been implementing this scheme against medical groups nationwide while it has simultaneously grown its own healthcare provider group [Optum] into the largest physician practice organization in the United States, accounting for most of United's annual profits," the lawsuit states. 

Envision is seeking to recover millions of dollars in alleged underpayments for medical care it provided to UnitedHealth members in Florida in 2021.

"United's pattern of misconduct has reportedly earned it the nickname 'evil empire' among some practitioners, and it is not difficult to see why," the lawsuit claims. 

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