Startup buys old St. Vincent Emergency Physicians accounts, goes after insurer for $15M

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A startup company that specializes in buying written-off medical accounts is suing a Connecticut insurer for $15.1 million, claiming it failed to fully pay St. Vincent Emergency Physicians for services it provided to its members.

Ecure Indiana Corp. filed suit July 28 against United Healthcare Insurance Co. of Hartford, Connecticut, in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis.

Ecure said United Healthcare failed to pay St. Vincent Emergency Physicians “a fair or reasonable amount” for the emergency room services the physicians rendered. It did not say how many patient visits were included, or give a time frame for the medical claims.

According to its LinkedIn page, Ecure buys medical accounts up to three years old at 50% of their determined value and looks for underpayments made to providers.

“If we determine that the underpayments are, in fact, unlawful underpayments, then our company proceeds with litigation against the carrier with our company as the plaintiff,” the LinkedIn page says. “Ecure never goes after the patients, only after the carriers.”

The lawsuit did not say when Ecure bought the St. Vincent Emergency Physicians accounts, but only that it has “purchased the accounts … and has been assigned both those accounts and the right to sue thereupon.”

United Healthcare did not immediately respond to IBJ for comment.

Ecure, which was incorporated in Indiana just last month, has its principal office in Poway, California.

The cases in dispute involve medical visits where United Healthcare did not have written contracts with St. Vincent Emergency Physicians, thus were considered “out of network.” Ecure said the insurer usually paid part of each claim, but typically less than the full amount.

Ecure is accusing United Healthcare of unjust enrichment and failing to pay accounts. The case was assigned to Judge Tanya Walton Pratt

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