NYSPA Sues UnitedHealth Over Mental Healthcare Access.

Thomson Reuters News & Insight (3/12, Humer) reports that UnitedHealth Group Inc., the biggest health insurer in the US, has been sued by the New York State Psychiatric Association (NYSPA), which is part of the American Psychiatric Association, and some UnitedHealth policyholders. The suit alleges that UnitedHealth has not provided mental health treatments called for under the Affordable Care Act, the Federal Parity Act, ERISA, and the laws of New York State. The suit, which is seeking class action status for NYSPA members as well as other customers with health insurance, seeks to force UnitedHealth to comply with applicable laws. The lawsuit is in Re: New York State Psychiatric Assn. Inc., Michael A. Kamins, Jonathan Denbo and Brad Smith vs. UnitedHealth Group, Southern District of New York, No. 13-cv-01599.

Bloomberg News (3/12, Smythe) reports, “The company denied or limited access to psychotherapy and other mental-health treatments for patients suffering from conditions including psychosis, chronic depression, and anxiety disorders, according to the 102-page complaint, which seeks to represent all customers of the company facing similar situations.” Bloomberg News adds, “So-called parity laws of the US, New York and California prohibit insurers from imposing more restrictive limits on care for mental health than for other health-care conditions, according to the complaint.” In addition, UnitedHealth “violated the federal Affordable Care Act by failing to continue to pay for mental-health treatment until final internal appeals were resolved, according to the complaint.”

Related Links:

— “NY State Pyschiatric Assn files suit against UnitedHealth, “Caroline Humer, Thomson Reuters, March 11, 2013.

Posted in In The News.