LAS VEGAS (AP) — One of the nation's largest health insurance companies and its branches in Nevada have been found liable for $60 million in punitive damages for underpaying out-of-network emergency medical providers.
A state court jury says three plaintiffs headed by urgent care staffing service TeamHealth should each receive $20 million from Connecticut-based United Healthcare Insurance Co. and five subsidiaries, including Sierra Health and Health Plan of Nevada. They're the two dominant providers in the Las Vegas area.
The same jury last week awarded $2.65 million in compensatory damages to plaintiffs Fremont Emergency Services, Team Physicians of Nevada and the parent company of Ruby Crest Emergency medicine.
United Healthcare said it will appeal. The company sent the following statement to 13 Action News:
“Everyone agrees health care costs too much, and today’s decision only adds to the problem. We will be appealing this decision immediately in order to protect our customers and members from private equity-backed physician staffing companies who demand unreasonable and anticompetitive rates for their services and drive up the cost of care for everyone.”