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Judge Blocks United Healthcare From Dropping Large Number Of Network Docs

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A doctor wears a stethoscope during an examination (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A doctor wears a stethoscope during an examination (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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A judge has issued a temporary order halting United Healthcare from dropping a large number of doctors from its Medicare Advantage coverage network.

Hartford County Medical Association President Bollepalli Subbarao says the ruling protects some of the most vulnerable patients being treated by the doctors.

“We want them to come to the table and discuss, include the public in the process, to come up with a better plan,” Subbarao said.

The health insurer planned to drop about 2,200 healthcare professionals in the state as of February 1.

The move prompted many United Healthcare Medicare Advantage customers to either find new doctors to get in-network healthcare coverage, or quickly pick another Medicare Advantages plan that includes their current doctors in-network.

For now, the ruling seems to protect only members of the Hartford and Fairfield County Medical Associations, because only doctors belonging to those associations sued the insurer.

In a statement, United Healthcare says it disagrees, and will appeal the temporary injunction.

The company says the ruling will create confusion for Medicare beneficiaries.

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