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FAH Statement | ACA/Coverage | FAH Policy Blog Team

FAH Calls on UnitedHealthcare to “Immediately and Permanently” Rescind Controversial ER Policy

Today, FAH sent a letter to UnitedHealthcare CEO Brian Thompson outlining the devastating effects on patients of the company’s recently proposed – then temporarily paused – coverage policy for the retroactive denial of emergency care.

In the letter, FAH President and CEO Chip Kahn calls on UnitedHealthcare to “immediately and permanently” rescind this policy.

Kahn wrote, “We are aware that UHC announced today a temporary delay of implementation until at least the end of the national COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). While the delay is appreciated, this temporary pause does not address the underlying policy that poses harmful and unnecessary risk to patients, regardless of its date of implementation.”

“Therefore, we urge you to immediately and permanently rescind this policy in order for your members to be assured that they will not be inhibited from seeking essential health care services.”

The letter continued, “Retroactively denying emergency care is detrimental to patients. UHC plan members are not in a position to make a medical determination before seeking care and cannot be expected to self-diagnose to determine whether or not to seek care from a hospital emergency room. UHC’s policy will create a chilling effect that could put a patient’s health and potentially even their life in peril. And coming on the heels of the COVID-19 PHE which has caused patients to delay needed care already, including emergency care, the policy only adds unneeded stress to a dangerous risk for patients.”

You can find the complete letter here.