COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo - A new chapter opens in the ongoing saga of what's up with UnitedHealthcare and the way it's handling hundreds of thousands of military and their dependents in 21 states including Colorado. Dr. Lorne, "Mac" MacDonald owns Falcon Physical Therapy. He told me since U-H-C took over, he's had to lay off seven therapists and has lost a huge chunk of referrals that is the lifeblood of his business. Dr. MacDonald told me, "Every time we've sat down with U-H-C, it's numbers, systems and money. Every time I bring up patient care and people not getting the care they've earned, U-H-C goes back to numbers, systems and money."
I've been following this story since the first meeting with healthcare providers and Congressman Doug Lamborn when these medical experts complained to him after the switchover to U-H-C from the previous service that took over management for health insurance for the military.
I've reached out to UnitedHealthcare to get their response to complaints that the system is still not working to get providers paid and get them referrals that were previously being pushed to them prior to the takeover. I'm still waiting for an official response.
Dr. MacDonald was among those who spoke with Congressman Lamborn in a meeting months ago and he had this to say to the Southern Colorado Representative, "Keep investigating and don't quit."
Congressman Doug Lamborn's office told me that the Republican is meeting next Wednesday with the Assistant Secretary of Defense to discuss the ongoing problems and how to resolve them. I will keep you informed about what comes out of that meeting.
Lamborn's staff also provided me this statement from the Congressman, ""I am well aware of ongoing problems with the United Healthcare contract and my staff and I have been working directly with the healthcare providers and the Department of Defense to resolve the problems. As a part of this effort, I have invited the head of the TRICARE Management Authority to come to Colorado Springs next week to meet with affected providers. He will be here next week. The Department of Defense and United Healthcare must fix the problems with TRICARE to restore the high level of service our military community is owed."