UnitedHealthcare offers 'no response' to industry group on prior authorization

On Aug. 1, the American Gastroenterological Association penned a letter to UnitedHealthcare calling on the insurer to withdraw its advanced notification program for gastrointestinal care. UHC since has offered "no details, no information and no response," according to an Oct. 11 statement from the AGA. 

The AGA's letter also called for UHC to clarify its advanced notification process, which went into effect June 1, and its gold-card program, which is set to launch in early 2024. 

"With just two and a half months to the new year, UHC has been ominously silent to the concerns of its 27 million commercial beneficiaries," the AGA said in the statement, which was shared with Becker's. 

"Noting that the nation's largest healthcare insurer is leaving an entire community of GI specialists and their patients in the dark with no further explanation for a program that is certain to negatively impact continuity of care, physician-patient relationship, and worse, patient health … the AGA is compelled to continue to press for communication and information," the statement continued. 

Now UHC is facing pressure from politicians. An Oct. 10 letter written by Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Pramila Jayapal called out UHC for some of its alleged bad faith policies and called on Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan to closely scrutinize the healthcare giant. 

"The negligent practices of the nation's largest insurer in implementing policies that work against patient care and physician expertise are certain to be repeatedly challenged by the AGA in the coming months," the AGA wrote. 

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