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U.S. drops lawsuit against UnitedHealth after losing court ruling

From Reuters - October 13, 2017

(Reuters) - The U.S. government dropped a lawsuit accusing UnitedHealth Group Inc of submitting false claims to get inflated Medicare payouts, a court filing on Thursday showed, a week after a judge dismissed the complaint but said it could be amended.

U.S. District Judge John Walter in Los Angeles ruled that the lawsuit failed to identify any UnitedHealth officers who signed documents vouching for data submitted to the Medicare Advantage program, or to claim that any of them knew they were signing off on false information.

We are pleased with the governments decision to dismiss these meritless claims, said UnitedHealth spokesman Matt Burns in a statement.

The U.S. Department of Justice, which filed the lawsuit, declined to comment. A second lawsuit by the government, accusing UnitedHealth of obtaining over $1 billion of Medicare payouts it was not entitled to, remains pending.

Medicare Advantage, an alternative to the standard fee-for-service Medicare in which private insurers manage health benefits, is the fastest growing form of government health insurance, with enrollment of 18 million people last year.

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