Letter of Termination to United Healthcare

Monday, October 20, 2014

To Whom It May Concern,

After countless years of caring for patients who purchase health insurance from United Healthcare, it is with great sadness that I notify you that I will no longer serve as a physician providing care to patients under United Healthcare. As of today, I am severing our relationship without cause with three months’ notice per customary protocol.

Health insurance has evolved from companies such as yours providing “insurance” to companies such as yours providing “healthcare.” The essential patient-physician relationship has been co-opted and replaced by the insurance company-patient relationship, which is tethered to government diktats of Obamacare. Your company now decides which medications you will cover for patients and when they may refill them. You decide which doctors, which hospitals, and which treatments you will cover. The evolution of health insurance is perilous mission creep on steroids. In my estimation, you are practicing medicine without a license.

As a patient whose insurance is purchased through United Healthcare, I have zero coverage if I choose “out of network” physicians. You have sacrificed patient choice for company profit. I will change my personal health insurance company as well.

As long as you collude with the federal government, you have no risk and considerable profit, billions of dollars that should have gone instead directly to patient care. Patients and physicians incur all the risk, inconvenience, and loss of autonomy and choice. The lives and well-being of America’s 315,000,000 patients are at stake.

Costs have escalated while benefits have plummeted. In light of onerous deductibles, current policies are nothing more than major medical plans that come with huge premiums and restrictions and miniscule choice and benefit.

I will not enable the perpetuation and institutionalization of this dysfunctional system. I honor the Hippocratic Oath and the sacred patient-physician relationship. Your company’s policies do not allow me to do this.

Hopefully, you will consider patient-centered, rather than government-centered, policies in the future.

Consider what you are actually selling if you cannot provide the services of actual physicians and surgeons to your patients. Yes, they are yours now. God, help them.

Respectfully and Regrettably,

Kristin S. Held, MD

I sent this letter to United Healthcare via certified mail (for which I have the receipt that they received it) over 3 months ago, from every level from CEO to my local provider relations person and emailed to all as well. To this day, I am still listed as a provider and United says, “Oh, gosh, we’ve had employee changes, and we don’t know anything about this.” I have sent a letter to my United patients reflecting my decision and actions, having respected a obligatory 90 termination without cause period following confirmation of United receiving my letter via certified mail. The letter to my patients can be read in the preceding blog post. http://t.co/8tV7KBNPvr

United Healthcare is clearly inept.

Ironically United HC shows exploding corporate profits on wall street of $120 BILLION for 2013 and $130 BILLION for 2014, while American patients lose their doctors, their plans, their meds, their hospitals, their choice, their dignity, their privacy, and ultimately their Constitutionally derived blessings of liberty.

Further irony- as Marilyn Tavenner steps down as head of CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services), the United HC President will fill her shoes, in one of the most flagrant examples of collusion and crony capitalism, if not fascism, in American history.

I have long contended that Obamacare is the roadmap to single-payer for which United HC will be last man standing. United is the largest provider not only in the US but in the world. They will undercut American corps, propping themselves up with global earnings and Fed gov bailout deals until all the chips fall, and we are left with the Progressive’s Holy Grail of Socialized medicine in the USA, a la a single-payer system, brought to us by the Executive Branch of the US government and their pet and global fave- United HC. Fundamental transformation complete. Mission Accomplished.

Yet, United HC can’t even successfully let me, one measly little country doctor (I mean provider), off their grimy plan.

God help us.

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5 thoughts on “Letter of Termination to United Healthcare

  1. Well done Dr. I am a licensed insurance counselor in Texas. ACA has increased premiums by around 100% for all non group (individual & family plans) I sell. This open enrollment has averaged about 40% subsidized in premiums. So the government program increases the cost 100% for my clients and pays 40% of the bill if you qualify and submit to ACA. HMOs, EPOs, POS plans are all on the rise. They all equal less choice and tighter control of your healthcare and no out of network benefits. Thankfully I do tell my client about other options like Christian Sharing Programs. There is hope (at least for Christians).

  2. Your description of the destruction of the patient-doctor relationship has left out the additional layer of employer-based coverage. In reality, the patient cannot choose the insurance and often not the plan; so it is even worse. The employer is squeezed between providing adequate coverage options for its employees, keeping the employee share cost in check, and being able to afford premiums that continue to spiral upwards. Thus, only the insurance company has any power – the employer, patient, and provider have none.

    Insurance commissions in the various states have rolled over and allowed insurers virtually unlimited power to decide their practices with insurance companies free to collude in the face of immunity from anti-trust – especially ironic, since the companies use anti-trust as their primary defense against physicians attempting to gain a little leverage by acting together.

    I don’t fully understand your putting the blame on Obamacare, but do agree that all levels of government have cooperated in the degradation of healthcare.

  3. I got out of all insurance company participation in December 2012. I sent 3 certified and non certified letters to each company I had been in network with a d therefore accepting as full payment insulting low payments solely intended to increase insurance company corporate profits. Despite this for several months, in some cases more than a year, several of these for profit companies continued to list me as participating and worse continued to pay me their insulting low payments.Only when I sent a certified and non certified letter to the NYS insurance commisioner filing an official complaint and threatening to start a class action lawsuit with a cc copy sent to the offending insurance companies did they take me out of their network and start paying their obligated out of network oayment,which of course, was much much more based upon contracts at that time,over 10 years ago.As we all know, out of network payments are an anathema to insurance company profits so they have done everything to prevent and reduce this loss to their bottomline. When the NYS attorney general revealed their fraud in the insurance company’s United Healthcare and Aetna owning Ingenix, the company determining the out of network usual and customary fees on which payments were made,it was no surprise.They were fined $600 million and required to spend $50 million to set up Fair Health at Syracuse, a totally independent company to determine real usual and customary fees. Of course the AG, none other than Andrew Cuomo, being the ingenuous politician he is known to be, used the publicity of these settlement to advance his political career to become Governor knew full well the insurance companies would never have agreed to a settlement that LEGALLY required them to use the fees as determined by Fair Health as the basis for out of network payments. And that is exactly what ALL the major insurance companies have done, United Healthcare,Aetna,Cigna,Emblem Health and others simply have ignored the Fair Health fees and changed their contracts with patients so that any OON payments were tied to Medicare, a Federal Healthcare program for retirees! Even more recently these companies have added exorbitant deductibles to BOTH out of network payments, (often $5000 per individual per year) and the most recently higher and higher in-network deductibles! The pattern here is obvious. These are for profit companies- operating for the benefit of their stockholders and senior executives profits with the best marketing,advertising and public relations,that money can buy to give patients the perception that these companies are there to “help” patients in health and illness.Yes of course, by requiring a $3000 in network and $5000 out of network deductible, patients cannot afford to go to any doctor and therefore the insurance company pays out nothing. Of course the premiums go up tearly, how else to make $130 billion in sales!
    They of course snookered the naive Obama, whose intent was to provide health insurance to the millions of Americans between jobs or those who had no insurance because of pr e-existing conditions.The insurance company incentive to support this was millions of new patients.Subsidized patients too.The insurance companies said thanks and then proceed to have bronze,silver,gold and platinum plans in Obama care that had several thousand dollar in network deductibles and NEVER out of network coverage. The premiums were 300,400,500,600 per month for an individual and much more for a famiky.Many,many families and individuals could not afford this,others struggled each month to make payments for terrible plans,knowing they could not pay the deductible.So they just didn’t go to doctors.These terrible plans instead of enabling preventive care, act as barriers to going to the doctor.
    That is American healthcare.I didn’t even mention the buying of Senators and Congressmen and state legislators by these billion dollar companies, fully legalized by Citizens United.I didn’t even mention the destruction of private practice. The evil actor in all of this are the insurance companues.they should be allowed to insure your car,your home,your life- but not your health.

  4. Bravo Dr. Held. As a fellow physician I have also participated with UHC but the events of the past year–being kicked off summarily from Medicare Advantage, increasingly hostile payment/coverage structures with regards to lab testing or pathology, and sky high deductibles, all have forced me to resign as well. UHC is the summit of a fascist, crony capitalist organization taking federal bailouts to boost profit. I don’t know what it will take for Obamacare to be scrapped, it’s the biggest disaster in the past 25 years to have happened to this country.
    I also included in my resignation a strict salvo–I must be taken off their electronic and print media after the 90 day period. We shall see what excuse they come up with not doing so. I’m expecting it.

  5. AHA..no wonder Xherly Bromine at CMS back stabbed me on three with United DENYING my fed mandated med transport as I suffer with untreated cardiac a year!!! No wonder Cheryl refused to report this and Logisticare to Office of Inspector General. Karmic retribution I soooo hope. Evil evil evil!!! Doctor can yiu help me, Florida hiding that med transport and insurance United fail to provide any sort reliable transport over a year!!!!!

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