A lawsuit filed in Connecticut against Ingenix runs with New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomos claims that the company is responsible for artificially low reimbursement rates insurers pay to out-of-network providers.
The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status and was filed April 29 in U.S. District Court in Hartford, claims New York resident Jeffrey Weintraub was ripped off by an alleged conspiracy in which insurance companies calculate their usual, customary and reasonable rates from a flawed and manipulated Ingenix database. The low payments to providers, according to the lawsuit, left Weintraub and other consumers with higher out-of-pocket costs.
Also named as defendants are Ingenix parent UnitedHealth Group, as well as Oxford Health Plans, Aetna, Cigna Corp. and other insurers.
Cuomo announced in February he intended to sue Ingenix and said he was investigating what he called an industrywide scheme perpetrated by some of the nations largest health insurance companies to defraud consumers. So far his office has not filed a complaint.
The Connecticut lawsuit, filed by the Colchester, Conn.-firm of Scott & Scott, seeks relief under federal racketeering and antitrust laws, as well as the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act. An Ingenix spokeswoman said the company had not seen it and declined to comment. -- by Gregg Blesch
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