Navigation Links
Consumer Watchdog: United Healthcare Sued for Discriminating Against HIV/AIDS Patients
Date:6/11/2013

SANTA MONICA, Calif., June 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a potentially devastating move for the health and privacy of HIV/AIDS patients, United Healthcare, the nation's largest health insurer, is allegedly illegally forcing its sickest and most vulnerable members to abandon their local pharmacies in favor of United's own in-house mail-order service, according to a new statewide class action lawsuit.  As the result of a settlement in a similar lawsuit against Anthem Blue Cross, patients with HIV/AIDS may now opt-out of Anthem Blue Cross's mail-order pharmacy program.

"United's decision to force their most vulnerable members into a pharmacy program not of their choosing is harmful to the very people United is supposed to be protecting," said Consumer Watchdog staff attorney Jerry Flanagan. "Patients, not insurers, should be allowed to decide how, when and where they buy their medications."

Download the lawsuit filed against United Healthcare by Consumer Watchdog and Whatley Kallas, LLP here: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/united_hiv_rx_complaint_.pdf

United HIV/AIDS patients must now either transfer their prescriptions to its in-house mail-order pharmacy, OptumRx, or pay thousands of dollars each month for their medications at local pharmacies.

The change is discriminatory under state civil rights law and threatens the health and safety of HIV/AIDS patients. Due to the complex nature of HIV/AIDS drug regimens, patients rely on their local pharmacists who, working directly with patients, monitor potentially life-threatening adverse drug interactions and side effects.  Pharmacists also provide essential advice and counseling that help HIV/AIDS patients and families navigate the challenges of living with a chronic and often debilitating condition.  United's mail-order pharmacy replaces these life-saving interactions with an 800 number that places the burden of securing life-sustaining medications on seriously ill patients.

Patients' privacy is also threatened. For example, HIV/AIDS specialty medications often are delivered in refrigerated containers. Patients who live in apartment buildings or have medications delivered to their work place have expressed alarm that neighbors and co-workers, who do not know that the recipient has HIV/AIDS, would come to suspect that they are seriously ill.

Under a recent settlement, Anthem Blue Cross members prescribed HIV/AIDS medications have an unconditional right to opt-out of a similar prescription drug mail-order program.

"Based on our success in promptly addressing this issue with Anthem Blue Cross in California, we hope that United will take a similar approach to provide their vulnerable enrollees appropriate opportunities to choose what is best for them," said Edith Kallas of Whatley Kallas LLP.

Anthem Blue Cross HIV/AIDS patients may now opt-out of the mandatory prescription drug mail-order program by contacting Anthem Blue Cross's mail-order pharmacy, CuraScript, on a dedicated toll-free telephone line: (888) 310-4043. Blue Cross consumers who opt-out of the mail-order program can continue buying their medications and accessing services at their local pharmacy without penalty.

Consumer Watchdog is a nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization with offices in Washington, D.C. and Santa Monica, CA. Find us on the web at: http://www.ConsumerWatchdog.org

The lawyers of Whatley Kallas, LLC have been repeatedly recognized in legal publications, such as The National Law Journal and American Lawyer, by their peers and by leaders of organized medicine for their work in the healthcare field. For more information, go to: http://www.whatleykallas.com/


'/>"/>
SOURCE Consumer Watchdog
Copyright©2012 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. Blue Cross To Allow HIV/AIDS Patients to "Opt-Out" of Mandatory Mail-Order Rx Drug Program, Announces Consumer Watchdog
2. Consumer Alert: Fraudulent Telemarketing Calls For Medical Alert Systems Target Senior Citizens
3. 3 USANA Products Earn ConsumerLab.com Seal Of Approval
4. Consumers Union Urges FDA To Require Safety Testing of Metal on Metal Hips and Other High Risk Implants
5. Healthrageous Unveils Accountable Health The Missing Piece To Engage Consumers In Their Health And Achieve Accountable Care Goals
6. Consumer Reports: So Many Drugstores, So Many Prices; New Report Finds Price Mayhem At The Pharmacy
7. CHPA Statement on Statewide South Carolina Consumer Poll
8. PCMA: New Report Shows Anti-PBM Laws Could Raise Health Care Costs for Oklahoma Businesses, Consumers, Government Programs
9. FastMed Urgent Care and MedVantx Offer Consumers First Ever Access to Free Samples of Medications through an Automated Medication Cabinet Across North Carolinas Largest Network of Urgent Care Centers
10. CHPA Statement on Statewide Indiana Consumer Poll
11. Global Image Sensor Market (2013 - 2018) By Technology (CCD, CMOS, Contact IS, Infrared, X-ray, FSI, BSI); Applications (Healthcare, Surveillance, Automobile, Consumer, Defense, Industrial); Geography (North America, Europe, APAC, ROW)
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016  Arkis BioSciences, a leading innovator ... more durable cerebrospinal fluid treatments, today announced it ... funding is led by Innova Memphis, followed by ... private investors.  Arkis, new financing will accelerate the ... market release of its in-licensed Endexo® technology. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... DUBLIN , June 23, 2016 ... "Dialysis Devices Global Market - Forecast to 2022" report ... is the treatment method for the patients with kidney failure, ... and excess fluid from the patient,s blood and thus the ... sodium, potassium and chloride in balance. Increasing ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Research and Markets ... Market by Type (Organic Chemical (Sugar, Petrochemical, Glycerin), Inorganic ... Coating, Parenteral) - Global Forecast to 2021" report ... The global pharmaceutical excipients market is projected to ... of 6.1% in the forecast period 2016 to 2021. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Quality metrics are proliferating in cancer care, and ... in the eye of the beholder, according to experts who offered insights and commentary ... of Managed Care. For the full issue, click here . , For the ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Many women are ... with endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan to not only alleviate symptoms ... can help for preservation of fertility and ultimately achieving a pregnancy. The specialists ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest ... as the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are ... Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published ... unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable ... less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that ... chosen by their peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent ... special honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):