Experts Dissect Anesthesiologists’ Suit Against UnitedHealth

UnitedHealthcare is facing a pair of headline-grabbing lawsuits that accuse the country’s largest health insurer of forcing U.S. Anesthesia Partners (USAP) out of its network and then using “unlawful tactics and pressure campaigns” to induce hospitals, surgeons and patients to stop doing business with the physician group. Yet health policy and law experts say it’s not clear that the anesthesiologists have valid claims against UnitedHealth, which might not be breaking any laws even if it is angering physicians.

“Some of the complaints USAP makes are honestly a bit odd, as they’re basically just complaining that an insurer is trying to use leverage in its negotiations, which is what we’d expect everyone to be doing here,” says Loren Adler, associate director of the USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy.

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been reporting and editing in various journalism roles for nearly a decade. Most recently, she was the senior editor of FierceHealthPayer, an e-newsletter covering the health insurance industry. A graduate of Penn State University, she previously served in editing roles at newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Colorado.

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