UnitedHealthCare (UHC) postponed a plan that would require Texas physicians to substantially increase their professional liability insurance coverage in order to participate in its networks.
The move comes after the Harris County Medical Society and Texas Medical Association expressed serious concerns about the new policy.
UHC did not say how long it will postpone the requirement, which was set to take effect March 1, 2021.
Under the postponed requirement, physicians would’ve had to carry at least $1 million individual and $3 million aggregate in professional liability coverage to meet UHC’s credentialing and recredentialing requirements. Currently, UHC requires physicians in most Texas counties to carry at least $100,000/$300,000 in coverage.
Harris County Medical Society met with UHC earlier this month on this issue after receiving concerns from physicians and also brought it to TMA’s attention. In a letter last week, TMA President Diana L. Fite, MD, asked United Health Group CEO Dirk McMahon to reconsider the requirement altogether.
“This change places yet another financial burden on Texas physicians at a time when medical practices are barely making ends meet due to the severe effects of the COVID-19 public health emergency,” Dr. Fite wrote.
TMA’s letter to UHC asked for a rationale for the change, which in addition to Texas would have affected physicians in Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania.
Liability protection has been a cornerstone of TMA’s advocacy efforts for years, and its fight for comprehensive reform in 2003 has been hailed nationwide. Find more information, resources, and CME on TMA’s Liability webpage.