DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A major insurance company is under fire because of a new policy surrounding ER visits.
Starting July 1, UnitedHealthcare will be able to retroactively deny emergency care claims. Many health care officials are voicing their strong opposition to the new policy.READ MORE: Cameron Lavon Stephens, 18, Charged With Murder In Fatal Shooting Of Arlington Teen At Hurricane Harbor
“We have a good relationship with UnitedHealthcare, they have some very reasonable people. What we would like to see come out of this is they reverse that policy and not implement it July 1,” Stephen Love, president of the DFW Hospital Council, told CBS 11 News.
Love spoke out against the change to emergency visits. According to the policy, claims ultimately determined to not be emergencies will be subject to limited or even no coverage.
The American Hospital Association and the American College of Emergency Physicians both expressed concern about the impact to patients.
“Our biggest concern with all this is that people will start to second guess whether they should go to the emergency department when they have chest pain, they may say ‘well maybe I shouldn’t go because if they don’t find anything, then I’m stuck with a big bill and my insurance company won’t pay,'” Dr. Robert Hancock, president of the Texas College of Emergency Physicians, said.READ MORE: Austin Police Arrest, Charge 19-Year-Old With Murder For 6th Street Mass Shooting
“We had period during the pandemic when people were afraid to call 911, didn’t want to come to the hospital. If we now are going to put people in a situation where they’re going to self-diagnose whether they’re sick enough to go to the emergency room, they may postpone treatment,” Love said.
A representative for UnitedHealthcare told CBS 11 News the coverage won’t be denied for people going to the ER with true emergency symptoms like chest pains.
The company said the move is intended to help push people towards the right care, saying in a written statement: “We are taking steps to make care more affordable, encouraging people who do not have a health care emergency to seek treatment in a more appropriate setting, such as an urgent care center.”
The American College of Emergency Physicians has an ongoing lawsuit against Anthem’s Blue Cross Blue Shield of George over similar policies.MORE NEWS: Vice President Harris On Her Way To Texas For Visit To US-Mexico Border
(Originally Posted 6/9/2021)