United Desists Faxed Request for Medical Records
Health Net, United Health Group and United subsidiary Ingenix have discontinued efforts to collect medical records for Medicare Advantage members in Connecticut due to numerous inquiries and complaints from physicians and the state’s department of insurance regarding their methods. Letters requesting the information were faxed, which sent up a red flag for many physicians.
Connecticut physicians started receiving the faxed letters from Ingenix and contractor MediConnect in December 2009 (American Medical News, March 2). Many physicians unfamiliar with Ingenix and MediConnect questioned the letter’s validity.
The letter faxed to physicians said, in part, “Ingenix, on behalf of Health Net, Evercare and/or SecureHorizons is requesting your cooperation in providing access to your office medical records in order to facilitate a risk adjustment chart review.” The letter did not explain what the purpose of the review was, or say under what authority Ingenix or the health plans were making the request.
After receiving hundreds of calls from physicians who received the faxed letter, Connecticut State Medical Society Executive Vice President Matthew Katz wrote to the insurance companies, copying in the state’s attorney general, insurance commissioner and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) (American Medical News, Feb 15).
The insurance companies eventually responded to state and society inquiries, stating future communications would be more clear.