127 affiliated physicians will no longer be in Centene's network, TeamHealth says

A physician group affiliated with TeamHealth may no longer be in network with Centene and its subsidiaries in Arkansas, according to a press release TeamHealth shared with Becker's.

TeamHealth said 127 members of its Southeastern Emergency Physicians will no longer be part of the Arkansas networks of Centene and its subsidiaries. According to the press release, the network change came days after a six-person jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas found Centene and its subsidiaries breached their contract with Southeastern Emergency Physicians by underpaying ER claims and delaying reimbursement.

The verdict concerns a lawsuit that Southeastern Emergency Physicians filed against Centene and its affiliates Ambetter and NovaSys Health in 2017 that alleged the insurers of the underpayments.  

In an emailed statement to Becker's, TeamHealth CEO Leif Murphy said: "It is deeply troubling that after Centene's wrongdoing was recognized and corrected in the courts, their reaction is to terminate their contract with TeamHealth physicians, directly compromising the ability of Arkansas patients to receive best in class care in the midst of the current pandemic."

In an emailed statement to Becker's, a spokesperson from Centene affiliate NovaSys said: "All of the health insurance claims at issue in this case have already been paid at the appropriate rate for Affordable Care Act claims. TeamHealth, a multi-billion dollar company backed by private equity, is attempting to use the courts to collect many times more than other ER providers in Arkansas get paid for ACA claims. We believe that is inequitable and hurts our members, and we plan to appeal."

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