Baseball91's Weblog

October 28, 2009

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

In January 2009, UnitedHealth based in Minnetonka, Minnesota agreed to shut down their Ingenix database and settled a lawsuit with the New York Attorney General by paying $50 million, it was reported in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal. According to an item in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal, the investigation by the New York Attorney’s General office uncovered a fraudulent and conflict-of-interest-ridden reimbursement system, which the state of New York then proceeded to replace with a not-for-profit company, FAIR Health Inc., to be headquartered at Syracuse University.

That $50 million was used to form a new, independent database at Syracuse University. After settlements with other similar companies, the New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday
a new independent database for consumer reimbursement as part of this Upstate research network in what sounds to be a reformed plan for Ingenix’s health care reimbursement database. Only this time allegedly with “transparency, accountability and fairness.” Funded by the litigation of Mr. Cuomo. Offering no defense of the operations at UnitedHealth here, public policy in New York apparently involves using the courts to transfer jobs to their state under the umbrella of the health care debate?

This new research network, reportedly funded with nearly $100 million in settlement money recovered during an investigation by Cuomo’s office into how the health-insurance industry reimburses consumers for out-of-network health care charges, “will develop a new Web site where for the first time consumers can compare prices before they choose their doctors.”

This is an innovative way for state government to create new jobs in their own state.


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