By MEGAN HALL
Providence, RI – Health Insurance Commissioner Chris Koller is giving up some of his power to avoid a day in court. Koller is temporarily letting go of his new rules about health insurance contracts in response to a lawsuit by the Care New England hospital chain.
According to Care New England, the parent company of Women and Infant Hospital, Kent Hospital, and Butler Hospital, Health Insurance Commissioner Chris Koller will not interfere with Care New England and United Health care as they work on a new contract.
Care New England says Koller has agreed to withdraw any letters or statements about the negotiations. His new set of rules about contracts won't apply, including one that says the amount insurers pay for things like knee surgery or chemotherapy should increase by no more than the amount Medicare increases its hospital payments for the same procedures.
Care New England sued Koller over these restrictions saying they made it difficult for the hospital chain to negotiate a fair contract with United Health Care. That agreement expires at the end of the year.
Health Insurance Commissioner Chris Koller could not be reached for comment.
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