Last Updated:April 24 @ 02:51 pm

UnitedHealth dropping doctors by the thousands

By United Press International

Financial pressures from the U.S. government are pushing UnitedHealth Group to drop thousands of doctors, the firm's president said.

"That's what's driving our actions. It's no secret that we are under substantial funding pressure from the federal government," said President Austin Pittman.

The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday that UnitedHealth earned profits of $1.57 billion in the third quarter, although the company's Chief Executive Officer Stephen Hemsley has warned that the Affordable Care Act is expected to include cuts to Medicare Payments.

UnitedHealth is the country's largest private management firm for Medicare Advantage plans, which covers both hospital and doctor expenses and includes options for prescription drug bills and preventative care, like membership to a gym, the Journal said.

UnitedHealth said it is managing its business and that it has 350,000 doctors in its network.

But cutting doctors from the plan still represents a potential crisis for patients. "Fewer practitioners mean longer waits, longer drives, less convenience," said ophthalmologist Steven Thornquist of Trumbull, Conn.

"Patients battling cancer should be focused on their treatment, not on finding another doctor," said gynecological oncologist Johnathan Lancaster at the cancer center Moffitt, where 200 doctors were dropped from the plan.

The Connecticut State Medical Society estimated 2,200 doctors were cut in Connecticut alone.

"Instead of using a scalpel, United is using a chain saw," said the president of the society Michael Saffir, who is also a rehabilitation specialist.

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19 Comments

  1. ksr1Comment by ksr1
    November 18, 2013 @ 9:44 am

    So please tell me the “Anointed One” did not know of this from the start that this was going to happen (I guess he was out golfing when the news flash came). Below is a reveling statement made by Gillibrand that the administration and ALL of the Dems knew this whole this was a big lie from day one and Peloski is into it all the way up to her ears since ” we have to pass it to know what is in it.

    On Sunday, appearing on ABC’s This Week with fill-in host Martha Raddatz, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) admitted that Democrats knew full well that Americans would be booted from their health insurance plans as an effect of Obamacare implementation.

    When asked whether Democrats were misled by President Obama about whether Americans would be able to keep their plans in the individual insurance market, Gillibrand answered: “He should’ve just been specific. No, we all knew.”

    She added that the whole point of Obamacare was to “covering things people need, like preventive care, birth control, pregnancy.”

    The redistributive nature of Obamacare, Gillibrand stated, was the point of the program; anyone claiming ignorance, therefore, is not telling the truth.

    Like I said before “hang on to your pocketbooks”. If the Reps do not use this as solid proof to debunk everything this administration and the Dems stands for……then we certainly will not be successful in 14/16.

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    • fouroaks93Comment by fouroaks93
      November 18, 2013 @ 10:09 am

      ksr1-I am really confused now. In the first part of your post, you said that Sen. Gillibrand is a dimocrat, but at the bottom it sounded like she is a Rep. Don’t tell me she is one of the dreaded DINO’s (Democrat In Name Only). I thought that they were extinct!

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    • ksr1Comment by ksr1
      November 18, 2013 @ 10:19 am

      fouroaks93, Yes she is a member of the House, however, her district is middle/somewhat right leaning and she wants to keep her meal ticket to the House Restraunt (at our expense). Just think of the 39 that all of a sudden voted with the Reps and that should say it all. No, she did not “change” her view of this “wonderful law” (sic) … she is only looking after herself and not her folks she represents.

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    • teridavisnewmanComment by teridavisnewman
      November 18, 2013 @ 11:04 am

      Gillibrand is NOT a Representative, she is a Senator. She used to be a Representative till she was appointed to fill Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat.

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    • ksr1Comment by ksr1
      November 18, 2013 @ 11:12 am

      @teridavisnewman, Sorry..I stand corrected

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    • commonsensegrandmaComment by commonsensegrandma
      November 18, 2013 @ 12:04 pm

      What isn’t explained in the article, but is the logical question to be answered, is why United Health Care has to drop doctors from its’ plan in order to comply with Obamacare?

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    • teridavisnewmanComment by teridavisnewman
      November 18, 2013 @ 4:44 pm

      @commonsensegrandma Because Obama looted half a trillion dollars from Medicare to bribe Obamacare through.

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  2. genesalComment by genesal
    November 18, 2013 @ 11:03 am

    ‘Droppings’ sure seem to be associated with Obama and Obamacare!

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  3. mredComment by mred
    November 18, 2013 @ 12:10 pm

    Well, they are finally starting to get brave and admit that they all knew it was a disaster from day one. This just goes to show how much they really care about us the voters they are supposed to be representing. I have known this for quite some time, but they are finally starting to admit it.

    People like her are the reason we need to pass the 28th amendment and get rid of the clowns that are out to do nothing but feather their nests with our money. The 17th amendment was the worst thing we could have passed. The Senate is composed of 2 senators from each state, appointed or elected by the legislators of each state. This made sure that the states were represented properly in this government and controlled it by doing what each state wanted, not what some Senator wanted. That was changed to a popular vote by the people directly and ever since they have lied and cheated us in every way they could. We have no say as to how they will vote and they will vote on what is best for them, not us. They lied to us to get this amendment passed and have been lying to us ever since. It is time to put a stop to this and repeal the 14th, 16th, and 17th amendment so we can have some say in this government and they cannot hold this tax over our heads and use it like a weapon the way they have been doing.

    I think it is time we took control of our government like we were meant to have, not the way Congress and the President feel we have. According to them, we have no say in any matters of state, but they are wrong. We have every bit as much say as they do if not more. We have control over them, not the other way around, or at least we did until we stopped learning the constitution and gave up control to the government. Now they don’t govern us, they dictate to us. Until we take the time to learn our own constitution and what our responsibilities are, we are going to get just what we have, a government that is out of control and doing anything they want to us. They tell us what their power is, but the constitution clearly states exactly what powers they have and they are way beyond them now.

    Our founding fathers expected us to stay informed about the constitution and to learn it and how it applies to the government and ourselves. If we are to lazy to hold our end of the bargain, then the government will take that from us just as they have done. They do not want you to know what is in the constitution so they can do just what they are doing now, almost anything they feel like doing. They know darn good and well that Obamacare is unconstitutional, but THEY DON’T CARE. They know that since you don’t know the constitution you will not stop them. You must believe their lies if you don’t know what they are doing, because you don’t know what they are allowed to do or not do. It is very plain in the constitution that this is a LIMITED GOVERNMENT and as such, cannot do most of what they are doing. ALL of the powers granted to this government are spelled out in the constitution and if you don’t learn it quick, then just roll over and die, because that are going to steam roll you into the ground. Either learn the constitution or pay the price and that price is VERY high. It’s called the loss of your freedoms…………………

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  4. makesenseComment by makesense
    November 18, 2013 @ 12:12 pm

    Gillibrand was a D- Representative when she voted for ACA. She is now a Senator and I do not remember when her term ends (2014 or 2016) as a fill-in Senator. This will be a big issue (honesty and integrity) against her if she runs for election in the Senate.

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    • teridavisnewmanComment by teridavisnewman
      November 18, 2013 @ 4:42 pm

      She was a SENATOR when she voted for it and has since won re-election to the seat for a full term. She replaced Hillary in 2009 and Obamacare was passed in 2010.

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  5. paleophlatusComment by paleophlatus
    November 18, 2013 @ 1:50 pm

    Now, the real cat in the ACA bag is starting to escape. Lets dissect ACA… A = affordable…enough said. C = Care…first large scale rumblings soon to come from the sector that supplies this portion of ACA…the medical profession.
    ACA has nothing directly to do with Care, except to hope to facilitate it…financially! Big fail so far. What effect is it bringing to the Care factor… Doctors are either unable, or unwilling, to continue in the program. As this article indicates, these doctors will not be authorized to care for patients insured under the United Health Group. Probably no payment to the doctor, or for any services utilized during his care for any patient. Or, while it isn’t clear in the release, but it is equally likely that the insurance provider ITSELF may be denied ANY governmental reimbursement as a consequence of allowing any “unauthorized” physicians to provide services under their policies. Why ? What defines “authorization” for doctors? I suspect that will not be readily forthcoming by either ACA, or the Insurance providers. Reassuring, isn’t that?

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  6. faaqComment by faaq
    November 18, 2013 @ 2:46 pm

    I believe it was mainly the Medicare Advantage plans that are being dropped, not regular United Healthcare plans. Since they are they biggest supplier of Medicare plans (the gov’t pays them $980 per person under those plans), and major cuts were made to Medicare to fund Obamacare, it stands to reason that in order to maintain profits, they must drop a certain number of doctors in the Medicare system. And I’m sure as reimbursements go way down, doctors and hospitals will be dropping Medicare patients.

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    • paleophlatusComment by paleophlatus
      November 18, 2013 @ 4:22 pm

      I think you are correct…that association was not clearly brought out bt the author, or editor?, You are also absolutely correct that the real problem ć Obomacare has yet to fully emerge…the effect on the practice of medicine under it, not a failure to implement an effective web site. Sadly, the enormity of this ineptitude is but the tip of this iceberg.

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    • manguscoloradoComment by manguscolorado
      November 18, 2013 @ 5:43 pm

      They are dropping SPECIALISTS – signs are now in some offices that this practice no longer takes Medicare – it is just not AARP – it includes many insurers. The old folks will be mad as hell when they find out they must change specialists that they have had for 10+ years . . anger on the way.

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    • ksr1Comment by ksr1
      November 18, 2013 @ 6:22 pm

      Just a thought….this concerns all the 55plus crowd who are members of AARP. The AARP was behind this ACA from the start and provided millions in support in the form of advertising to promote this, Now their members are being kicked off of their policies, I just wonder if they will remain members of AARP. Again, this was another snow job brought to you by the WH Staff promoting a pack of lies, of course at the expense of the seniors..

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    • genesalComment by genesal
      November 19, 2013 @ 9:22 am

      ksr1
      Which is why I haven’t dealt with or supported AARP turncoats since then.

      And faaq, if the gov pays 980 for Medicare but the Medicare recipient pays, say 1320 per year the gov’s making a tidy 340 profit per year. No wonder it’s about to go under.

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  7. Pingback: Thousands of Doctors Dropped by Insurer After Obamacare Funding Cuts - ALIPAC

  8. faaqComment by faaq
    November 19, 2013 @ 8:51 am

    AARP only endorses United Healthcare as a Medicare provider, they aren’t involved in the coverage themselves. They are also big Obama supportors. A broker for United told me it won’t be just them dropping Medicare plans, the others like Aetna and Connecticare will be following suit, although not at the level they dropped plans and doctors. When the elderly can’t find doctors and specialists in their area, guess what’s going to happen? They won’t be able to go at all and will start dropping like flies. Isn’t this what the Democrats want? Get rid of the old people that are using up too many of their precious resources so that younger, healthy people can have them. This is the first step to single payer. Look out, there will be no more preventive care, no mammograms, no colonoscopies, no yearly physicals. It will be just like Canada and the UK. You get those tests only after you have the disease.

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  9. manguscoloradoComment by manguscolorado
    November 19, 2013 @ 10:01 am

    Facts do not support the Democrat and media premise. First the 90% on welfare already receive FREE taxpayer paid insurance called MEDICAID. Now Obamacare is not a new insurance plan it is a MASSIVE NEW TAX – THE BIGGEST IN HISTORY – [see Supreme Court decision it is not a FINE it is a TAX].

    Next is the fact that Obamacare did raise the medicaid floor to 133% of the poverty level income. Well when you look at a family of four receiving “ALL” of the available free assistance the effective income goes to $ 43,000 per year. These people will receive “TOTALLY FREE VISION, DENTAL, MENTAL HEALTH, DOCTORS VISITS, SPECIALIST VISITS and FIRST DOLLAR coverage with ZERO DEDUCTIBLE.

    The new tax will amount to around $ 500 per month for most families or a $ 6,000 per year tax increase to pay for Obamacare Free insurance for the under 133% of the poverty line which has increased over the last few decades at above the rate of inflation.

    The war against poverty started in 1965 under LBJ and has drained off over 15 trillion dollars out of tax revenues and borrowing – the number and percentage of those in poverty has remained the same – why? The program has created a dependent class living on voter plantations. They have been bribed and supported by the middle Class taxes increasing every year. Obamacare is a massive new tax on the middle class family that earns over $60,000 per year.

    You can try and justify taxing but tell the truth – “IT IS JUST A NEW TAX.” Now check the projections – 30 million do not have insurance and in 2020 10 million to 15 million will still be uninsured? Who are we kidding [lying] trying to justify spending 1.6 trillion dollars to insure maybe 15 million people.

    It is about CONTROL AND TAXES = POWER OF MONEY AND RULES.

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