The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) has expressed concerns over UnitedHealthcare’s (UHC) lack of response to their call for clarity on the insurer’s advanced notification program for gastrointestinal care. On August 1, the AGA sent a letter to UHC urging them to withdraw this program. However, as of October 11, UHC has not provided any details or responses to the AGA’s concerns.
- AGA’s Concerns: The AGA’s letter sought clarity on UHC’s advanced notification process, which began on June 1, and its gold-card program set to start in early 2024.
- UHC’s Silence: Despite the AGA’s outreach, UHC has remained silent, leading to concerns among the 27 million commercial beneficiaries of the insurer.
- Potential Impact: The AGA believes that UHC’s lack of communication and explanation about the program could negatively affect continuity of care, the physician-patient relationship, and overall patient health.
- Political Pressure: UHC is now also facing scrutiny from politicians. A letter from Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Pramila Jayapal criticized UHC for its alleged policies that might work against patient care and physician expertise. They urged the Federal Trade Commission Chair, Lina Khan, to closely examine UHC’s practices.
- AGA’s Stance: The AGA has expressed its commitment to continually challenge UHC’s practices, especially if they are perceived to work against patient care and physician expertise.
In summary, the AGA’s concerns revolve around UHC’s advanced notification program for gastrointestinal care, and the insurer’s lack of communication has raised alarms in the medical community and among policymakers.