UnitedHealthcare, Cigna sued for allegedly underpaying behavioral health claims

The behavioral health units of UnitedHealthcare and Cigna face four class-action lawsuits claiming the insurers conspired with a third-party company to underpay providers and balance bill patients hundreds of millions of dollars.

The lawsuits, filed by law firm Napoli Shkolnik April 5, accuse United Behavioral Health and Cigna Behavioral Health of using Viant as a middleman company to systematically lower payments to out-of-network outpatient providers for substance abuse and mental health treatment. The lawsuit alleges providers got less than 5 percent of what they were owed. 

UnitedHealthcare and Cigna did not immediately respond to Becker's request for comment on the lawsuits. UnitedHealthcare has faced other lawsuits for its mental health treatment coverage. 

In the most recent lawsuits, patients brought two of the cases against UnitedHealthcare and Viant, and Cigna and Viant, respectively. The two others were brought by behavioral health outpatient providers against the same defendants. 

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