FMA: We're Standing Up to United

Dec 18, 2013

To the Editor:
 
Re:
“AARP Medicare plans announced this fall that they would be dropping thousands of Florida doctors from their managed care networks. But the Florida Medical Association is not letting the matter drop…Several Tampa Bay doctors and their representatives expressed glee this week that somebody, somewhere, was doing something.”Tampa Bay Times, 12/12/13

As many patients and physicians know, UnitedHealthcare is in the process of terminating a large number of physicians who care for Medicare Advantage patients throughout Florida. This is particularly troubling in Florida because of our large population of elderly residents who rely on Medicare Advantage plans for their medical care.
 
The FMA feels strongly that United’s unilateral decision to terminate provider contracts will have an impact on patient care. In addition to requesting an investigation on the impact that United’s decision will have on Florida’s Medicare recipients, the FMA has joined a number of medical societies in supporting an injunction against United Healthcare. 

The motion makes it clear that the Florida Medical Association has a substantial interest in ensuring that United not be permitted to unilaterally terminate any physician in the way it has sought to do so.  The FMA was joined in this effort by a number of county and specialty medical societies in Connecticut, as well as by the Medical Society of the State of New York, the Medical Society of New Jersey, the Texas Medical Association, the Tennessee Medical Association, the California Medical Association, the American Academy of Dermatology Association and the Physicians Advocacy Institute.
 
We invite physicians and patients to visit the FMA’s United Healthcare Action Center today at http://www.flmedical.org/United_Healthcare_Action_Center.aspx and share their story about United’s actions so that we can show policymakers that patients are suffering as a result of United’s physician terminations.

Erin VanSickle
Vice President of Communications and Marketing
Florida Medical Association