Smith Anderson attorney Mitch Armbruster was recently featured in two news reports about a new class-action lawsuit that alleges insurance carrier UnitedHealthcare abruptly dropped an anesthesiology practice from its network and wrongly saddled patients with thousands of dollars in medical bills.
WBTV and the Charlotte Observer reported that a number of the patients, along with Smith Anderson client Providence Anesthesiology Associates, have filed a class-action lawsuit against UnitedHealthcare in Mecklenburg County Superior Court.
Mitch said Providence patients received unexpectedly high bills after UnitedHealthcare terminated Providence from its network in 2020. The suit alleges that the insurance company suddenly told Providence it would have to accept drastically smaller reimbursements or get dropped from the network. It further alleges that the insurance company did this as a negotiating strategy, and patients are now being held responsible for the bills.
Providence is the primary provider of anesthesia services at a number of in-network hospitals, meaning patients with UnitedHealthcare insurance plans could find themselves at an in-network facility without an in-network anesthesia service, according to the Observer.
Mitch practices in the areas of commercial and administrative litigation, with significant experience in appellate litigation. He has handled a wide variety of business disputes, administrative agency disputes, regulatory enforcement proceedings, public records disputes, and antitrust matters. He has tried cases in jury and non-jury settings and conducted hearings before various state administrative boards and the North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings.
Charlotte Observer subscribers can view the article here. The WBTV story can be read here.
WBTV is a CBS-affiliate television station in Charlotte. The Charlotte Observer is one of the largest newspapers in North Carolina, serving the Charlotte metro area.