Judge Rips UnitedHealth's Shortsighted Behavioral Care Rules

Law360 (March 5, 2019, 11:09 PM EST) -- A UnitedHealth Group unit's internal guidelines for mental health and substance abuse coverage ignored generally accepted standards of care and focused on "crisis stabilization" while leaving patients stranded over the long term, a California federal magistrate judge said Tuesday.

While United Behavioral Health's experts espoused good standards for treating patients for behavioral health issues at a 2017 class action bench trial, none of that is reflected in the company's actual guidelines, U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero said. Instead, he said the company emphasized fixing short-term symptoms without considering how effective the care would be in the long run, abandoning its...

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