UnitedHealthcare Pushes Back Start Date for Making Claims-Payment Decisions Based on its Florida Pilot Management Program for Medical Laboratory Tests

Health plan sets no new date for BeaconLBS claims-payment decisions but promises 30-days’ notice before making decisions on claims payment

Physicians, pathologists, and clinical laboratories in Florida got a late Christmas present last week. UnitedHealthcare (UHC) (NYSE:UNH) postponed the date when its medical laboratory benefit-management pilot program in Florida, administered by BeaconLBS, would affect claims payments.

This was welcome news, because, beginning January 1, if physicians serving UHC patients had failed to use the BeaconLBS system to obtain pre-notification or pre-authorization for 82 medical laboratory tests, the physicians or labs performing the tests would not be paid by UHC—nor could clinical labs and pathology groups in the UHC provider network bill patients for these tests. (more…)

In Florida, UnitedHealthcare’s New Clinical Laboratory Benefit Management Program Triggers Objections from Physicians and Excludes Most Medical Laboratories

College of American Pathologists and associations for family physicians and ob-gyns in Florida have asked UnitedHealthcare to discontinue implementation of BeaconLBS system

Medical laboratory testing is at the center of a contest of wills in Florida. On one side is a health insurer that wants to require physicians to obtain pre-notification or preauthorization for a list of clinical laboratory tests. On the other side are the physicians who question the clinical basis for these requirements and the time and resources required to comply with the health insurer’s program.

This rancorous dispute is in reaction to the laboratory benefit management program created by UnitedHealthcare (NYSE: UNH) (UHC) administered by BeaconLBS, a business division of Laboratory Corporation of America (NYSE: LH) (LapCorp). (more…)

UnitedHealthcare Introduces ‘myEasyBook’ Online Shopping Service to Help Consumers Select Hospitals, Physicians, and Clinical Pathology Laboratories

Targeted at employers and their employees, myEasyBook is designed to help consumers with high-deductible health plans save 30% or more when picking a provider

It is rare for a national health insurance company to use the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to unveil a new online healthcare service, but that’s exactly what UnitedHealthcare Group (NYSE: UNH) did. On January 7, it took the wraps off its new myEasyBook healthcare shopping service.

Clinical laboratory managers and pathologists should take note of this development. It is one more example of how prominent healthcare companies want to help consumers shop for healthcare providers by providing information about quality and price in an easy-to-use format. Every medical laboratory should be thinking about when and how it wants to make its quality information and lab test pricing readily available to consumers. (more…)