United quits Medicare claims work

United HealthGroup (Philadelphia) last week notified the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA; Baltimore) that it plans to withdraw from the Medicare program as a claims processing contractor. United said that because it pays claims for providers that treat beneficiaries, healthcare for seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries will not be affected by the plan.

United will withdraw as the contractor paying claims for DME in the New England states, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. It will also no longer pay claims for some hospitals and physician services, but United will continue to process claims until the transition is completed later in the year.

HCFA will select replacement contractors for the work related to DME and physician payments and is working with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association to identify replacements for the hospital payment work.