Regarding “Medicare Advantage Loses its Advantage: UnitedHealthcare Responds by Dropping Providers,” (Feb. 20; http://bit.ly/1fusIwZ), I have been thinking a lot about the battles we are all fighting with the insurance carriers over the cost of multiple sclerosis (MS) medications. We must collectively fight back.
UnitedHealthcare, for example, demo-nizes physicians when, in fact, they should be castigating the actuaries. What inexpensive treatments are there for MS? None. The insurers know that. I challenge UnitedHealthcare to outline to the community of neurologists an evidence-based strategy for inexpensive care of MS. In order to cover for its own miscalculation of costs, the insurance industry blames the physicians as being the drivers of costs, justifying their position for firing doctors.
The battles today are frankly between the insurance carriers (public and private) and the pharmaceutical industry. The patients and the health care providers (formerly known as physicians) are caught in the crossfire.
S. Mitchell Freedman, MD FAAN Adjunct Professor of Neurology, University of North Carolina Raleigh Neurology Associates Raleigh, NC