United Health agrees Ingenix was a bogus conflict of interest
Last year, we reported on the filing of a suit by the New York Attorney General, attacking the conflict of interest inherent in the use of Ingenix (a subsidiary of the large insurer, United Health) to minimize insurance payouts for out-of-network medical services. The AG, along with other experts and medical authorities, claimed that Ingenix manipulated its data to reduce the payment, by, for example, omitting larger, urban providers and emphasizing captive low payments in its calculations. This month Ingenix admitted the arrangement was a conflict of interest and agreed to pay $350 million dollars to settle the AG's suit and several pending class action suits. United Health will close its (defective) data base and shift responsiblity for making these calculations to an independent nonprofit corporation.