UnitedHealthcare delays new ED claims denial policy

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UnitedHealthcare on Thursday said it will delay implementing its new policy that would retroactively deny patients’ claims of emergency department visits that are considered non-emergent.

The insurer stated in a tweet that it has decided to wait on the policy until “at least the end of the national public health emergency period” due to feedback from its provider partners and conversations with various medical societies.

Policymakers and providers said that the policy would be illegal under the prudent layperson standard, and could deter patients from going to the emergency room, a dangerous outcome during the COVID-19 pandemic.

UnitedHealthcare said until it unveils the policy, it will continue educating consumers, customers and providers on what the policy entails and help people find an appropriate site of service for non-emergent care.

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