UnitedHealthcare delays ER coverage policy amid provider backlash

UnitedHealthcare delays ER coverage policy amid provider backlash

Amid significant backlash from providers, UnitedHealthcare is delaying its new emergency department coverage policy, which would allow the insurer to retroactively deny ED claims it determines are nonemergent. The policy was set to take effect July 1 in fully insured commercial plans. A spokesperson for UnitedHealthcare said in a statement to Fierce Healthcare that the policy will be pushed back until at least the end of the national public health emergency period for COVID-19. When that window will close is unclear, though most experts expect the public health emergency to last at least through the end of 2021. "Based on feedback from our provider partners and discussions with medical societies, we have decided to delay the implementation of our emergency department policy until at least the end of the national public health emergency period," the spokesperson said. "We will use this time to continue to educate consumers, customers and providers on the new policy and help ensure that people visit an appropriate site of service for non-emergency care needs." The news was first reported by The New York Times. Provider …
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