Welcome to the Nexus of Ethics, Psychology, Morality, Philosophy and Health Care

Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, technology, health care, and philosophy

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Groundbreaking Court Ruling Against Insurer Offers Hope in 2020

Katherine G. Kennedy
Psychiatric News
Originally posted 9 Jan 20

Here is an excerpt:

In his 106-page opinion, Judge Spero criticized UBH for using flawed, internally developed, and overly restrictive medical necessity guidelines that favored protecting the financial interests of UBH over medical treatment of its members.

“By a preponderance of the evidence,” Judge Spero wrote, “in each version of the Guidelines at issue in this case the defect is pervasive and results in a significantly narrower scope of coverage than is consistent with generally accepted standards of care.” His full decision can be accessed here.

As of this writing, we are still awaiting Judge Spero’s remedies order (a court-ordered directive that requires specific actions, such as reparations) against UBH. Following that determination, we will know what UBH will be required to do to compensate class members who suffered damages (that is, protracted illness or death) or their beneficiaries as a result of UBH’s denial of their coverage claims.

But waiting for the remedies order does not prevent us from looking for answers to critical questions like these:

  • Will Wit. v. UBH impact the insurance industry enough to catalyze widespread reforms in how utilization review guidelines are determined and used?
  • How will the 50 offices of state insurance commissioners respond? Will these regulators mandate the use of clinical coverage guidelines that reflect the findings in Wit. v. UBH? Will they tighten their oversight with updated regulations and enforcement actions?

The info is here.