Faulty Insurance Database Overcharged Patients for Healthcare
This week congressional investigators announced that two-thirds of the health insurance industry used a faulty database, which in turned cost patients when seeing doctors outside of the insurance network billions in inflated bills.
The database operated by Ingenix, a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group, agreed in January to pay $350 million to settle allegations that i t deliberately kept rates low to underpay doctors.
Despite paying $350 million, UnitedHealth admits no wrong with how the Ingenix was run, agrees to close the database, and help pay for a new database operated by a nonprofit group. Nearly 20 regional and national insurers also used Ingenix data including Aetna, Wellpoint and Cigna.
Congressional investigators found that companies deliberately skewed data to underestimate the costs of medical services, which left the patients paying more in out-of-pocket expenses.
“The result of this practice is that American consumers have paid billions of dollars for health care services that their insurance companies should have paid,” according to the report of the Senate Commerce Committee’s investigative staff.