Bryan Cohen Nov. 7, 2013, 7:00pm

HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen sent a letter to federal regulators Wednesday asking them to examine UnitedHealthcare's decision to terminate a large number of doctors from a network in Connecticut.

UnitedHealthcare plans to drop a significant number of doctors from its Medicare Advantage Plan networks starting next year. The company failed to disclose the number of doctors to whom it sent or plans to send termination notices.

Jepsen expressed his concerns in a letter to the regional director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

"As you know, my office lacks the authority to resolve these important issues regarding a federally administered program," Jepsen said. "Consequently, I urge your agency to aggressively scrutinize this large and potentially harmful provider termination initiative."

Jepsen noted that UnitedHealthcare has not notified affected patients about the termination plans even though the open enrollment period closes Dec. 7.

"My office has recently been informed that doctor termination letters, which were dated Oct. 31, 2013, are just now beginning to be received by affected physicians," Jepsen said. "As a number of those physicians have pointed out, because they have a 30-day period during which to appeal United's termination, a final determination regarding their participation status will not be made until after the closure of the open enrollment period."

Jepsen is requesting that federal regulators consider extending the open enrollment period for members affected by UnitedHealthcare's Medicare Advantage Plan.

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