I see that while I was sleeping the past few days Medicare issued a statement about the United Healthcare / Health Net situation. A post on Tucson Citizen forced United Healthcare to issue a statement as well although I was told in December that they were not going to make the situation public.
For some odd reason, no-one commenting there seems to believe the statements. Perhaps it’s because the statements are unbelievable!
From the Tucson Citizen: Medicare Advantage: Enrollment fraud investigated in Tucson
And yes, I did add a comment there that goes a bit beyond what I posted here in December and includes a word or two about the relationship between Health Net, United Healthcare and OptumInsight (formerly Ingenix) which should interest anyone who still thinks their medical information is private.
My comment included here for the record and for searches:
January 7, 2012 5:21pm:
Ah, once again we see the “Business of Poverty” that Bill Moyers covered so well a few years back.
When I found out this happened to me on Dec 22 I was told by both HealthNet and United Healthcare that they were not going to make this situation public. I called local news stations, emailed a few newspapers and no-one would pick up the story. Since I felt the information was critical and time-sensitive I posted about it on wordpress:
A short summery of some of what I say below can be found in those posts.
Some agent did this? Hardly likely. No mention that most of the ‘fraudulent applications’ used people’s old addresses. Or that to fill out such an application the “agent” would have to have known the Medicare start date for each individual. I don’t even know what mine is. I’d have to look at my Medicare card.
There is a long trail leading to this instance of Medicare slamming. United Healthcare was caught doing the same thing in Florida (another large elderly and disabled population) in 2007 and it was a major story then:
Florida Lawyer Brings Class Action Against UnitedHealthcare
And then there were the HealthNet disks stolen in 2009 while en route to somewhere during the transition period of United Healthcare’s buy out HealthNet North East.
Perhaps the disks finally showed up. At United Health Care.
And last October, 9 HealthNet servers went missing from the vendor IBM facility. HealthNet states that the thefts don’t affect clients in Arizona and so did not provide ID theft coverage.
And on and on and on.
There is no such thing as personal medical information anymore. If HealthNet didn’t get Arizonan’s info from the disks that went missing in 2009 or the servers that went missing in October 2011 they’d all still have everyone’s info available to them anyway since they all use Ingenix (a “Health Information Exchange”) which is owned by… United HealthCare (Ingenix changed it’s name to OptumInsight after the NY Attorney General sued them and United Healthcare in 2008 for using algorithms that defrauded both doctors and patients):
Please file a formal complaint with the AZ Department of Insurance:
While other states have brought suit against HealthNet, United Healthcare and Ingenix Arizona seems to just let it all go by. Where is the AZ Attorney General?