Jury says UnitedHealthcare underpaid TeamHealth claims, will award provider $2M

The jury ruling on a Nevada lawsuit between TeamHealth and UnitedHealthcare sided against the payer in a Nov. 29 decision. 

The decision claims UnitedHealthcare made "drastic underpayments," according to a Nov. 29 news release from TeamHealth. The Knoxville, Tenn.-based provider's initial lawsuit alleged that the payer underpaid TeamHealth on 11,000 claims, totaling $10.5 million in losses. 

"On behalf of our more than 15,000 clinicians, TeamHealth is thrilled by the jury's decision to hold UnitedHealthcare accountable for the considerable harm they have caused to Nevada emergency room clinicians and their patients," said Leif Murphy, TeamHealth president and CEO. "The court evidence clearly demonstrated that United's refusal to adequately reimburse emergency medicine physicians was intentional and will no longer be tolerated."

The jury ruled in favor of UnitedHealthcare paying $2 million in damages and will decide on punitive damages when it reconvenes Dec. 7, according to a news release from Dolcefino Consulting. 

A UnitedHealthcare spokesperson told Becker's that it is reviewing the implications of the decision. 

"We remain committed to helping contain rapidly rising health care costs for the people and employer customers we are privileged to serve," the spokesperson told Becker's

UnitedHealthcare and TeamHealth have been sparring in the Nevada court, delivering closing arguments Nov. 23. The lawsuit is one of 10 between the entities.

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