May 18 and May 22 are key dates physicians need to keep in mind in the proposed settlement of the American Medical Association's lawsuit against UnitedHealthcare over United's system for determining "usual, customary, and reasonable" (UCR) charges. AMA and New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo called United's system a scheme to defraud patients and physicians on medical bills for out-of-network services.
May 18 is the deadline for physicians who want to remain part of the settlement but who have concerns about some aspect of it to file objections. May 22 is the deadline for physicians to "opt out" of the settlement. Those who "opt out" can still pursue individual claims against United even if the settlement is finally approved.
Those dates are part of a time line U.S. District Judge Lawrence M. McKenna approved in January. The time line sets March 18 as the deadline for the claims administrator to mail the formal settlement notice and a proof of claim form to physicians, and Sept. 2 as the deadline for physicians to file claims.
AMA Senior Vice President/General Counsel Jon Ekdahl says he does not know when the claims distribution will begin. That will depend on the number of claims filed and how long it takes to resolve any appeal after a final hearing on July 1. An appeal could delay claims distribution for several month.
Mr. Ekdahl says he does not now know how many physicians will receive the formal settlement notice, but added it will be "several millions" and will be based on data provided by United.
Action , Feb. 15, 2010
Last Updated On
September 30, 2010