Cigna accuses Connecticut physician practice of price gouging

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A Connecticut physician practice suing Cigna over COVID-19 payments exploited a national health emergency and overcharged insurers for diagnostic tests, Cigna claimed in recent court filings.

The price gouging claims come amid a legal battle between Cigna and Murphy Medical Associates, an internal and preventive medical practice in Southwestern Connecticut. In an amended complaint filed March 24, Murphy Medical accused Cigna of failing to provide coverage for COVID-19 testing and related services.

The physician practice argued that while it provided more than 4,000 Cigna members with COVID-19 tests and medically necessary services, Cigna only reimbursed "a fraction of the cost of the services provided," and owes the practice more than $6 million, according to the complaint.

Murphy Medical also claims the insurer engaged "in a paperwork war of attrition," including requesting medical records and audits for "every claim submitted," according to the lawsuit.

On April 16, Cigna filed a motion to dismiss Murphy Medical's amended complaint. In its motion, Cigna argued the practice's allegations fall short, and Murphy Medical failed to prove a plausible claim for out-of-network reimbursement. Additionally, Cigna claimed Murphy Medical charged insurers for tests that were unnecessary or not provided.

"In reality, the amended complaint details an elaborate business enterprise to exploit a national health emergency for profit," Cigna claimed in documents supporting its motion to dismiss the complaint.

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