UnitedHealthcare prevails in TeamHealth suit: 5 notes

UnitedHealthcare was delivered a win in May in its legal battle with Knoxville, Tenn.-based physician staffing company TeamHealth. 

Here are five things to know:

1. The case went to trial in April. The jury found that TeamHealth subsidiaries did not meet the burden to prove the required elements of enrichment and also sided with UnitedHealthcare on the physician group's claim for breach of contract. 

2. Four TeamHealth subsidiaries filed a lawsuit against UnitedHealth in 2019, alleging the payer cut rates for physician's emergency services to substantially below rates which they paid for similar claims.

3. "Although we are disappointed with the outcome, we recognize the complexities of the case and respect the jury’s deliberative efforts and its decision," a TeamHealth spokesperson told Becker's. "TeamHealth has prevailed in court against UnitedHealthcare before, and we will continue our nationwide fight to hold corporate health insurers accountable for refusing to provide fair payment for lifesaving care. While United continues to reap record profits from its strategy of putting patients in the middle and cutting provider reimbursement by more than half historic rates, TeamHealth will continue to ensure that patients are not put in the middle of billing disputes."

4. A Nevada jury ordered UnitedHealthcare to pay $60 million in punitive damages in 2021 following a loss to TeamHealth over underpayments for emergency services. Another arbitration panel in Florida ordered the payer in March  to pay TeamHealth $11.3 million for underpayments. 

5. UnitedHealth did not respond to an inquiry from Becker's regarding how many pending cases remain between the payer and TeamHealth.

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