Volume 78 - Number 34 / January 21 - 27, 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Villager photo by Jefferson Siegel
Cuomo has cure for medical-insurance billing scam
By Jefferson Siegel
On Tues., Jan 13, at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Greenwich Village, state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced a $50 million settlement with UnitedHealth Group, one of the nation’s largest medical insurance companies.
As part of Cuomo’s investigation into fraudulent billing practices by health insurers, it was uncovered that UnitedHealth had billed patients for out-of-network costs based on calculations by a single billing company, Ingenix, which is itself a wholly owned subsidiary of UnitedHealth.
As part of the settlement, Cuomo announced creation of a publicly accessible Web site that will allow consumers to review how much they will be reimbursed for common, out-of-network medical services in their area.
Above, after making the announcement, Cuomo greeted Mary Jerome, of Yonkers. Jerome, 64, diagnosed with advanced-stage ovarian cancer several years ago, wrote to the Attorney General’s Office to complain that her cancer treatments were not being properly reimbursed. Her letter helped start the A.G.’s investigation into medical billing practices.