Immediately after the State of Colorado contracted with Lewin Group to review the 208 commissions proposals on the future of health care in Colorado, Lewin Group was bought out by United Health Group (UHG). UHG is the largest provider of health insurance in Colorado, and is now also an “independent auditor” in charge of reforming health care in Colorado.
From the Washington Business Journal:
The selection later raised concerns from medical professionals when Lewin was acquired by Ingenix Inc. in late June. Ingenix is a health information technology company owned by the UnitedHealth Group of Minneapolis, parent of UnitedHealthCare — a health insurer that serves more than 850,000 Colorado residents.
“There were concerns about UnitedHealthCare being involved in helping design the health insurance market,” Lindsay said.
Some on the commission wondered if Lewin’s acquisition would make it appear as if UnitedHealthCare had unduly influenced the outcome of the consulting companies’ studies.
But when Lewin met with members of the Colorado Medical Society and the Colorado Hospital Association, the consulting firm gave assurances that all documents related to its research of four reform proposals being studied by the commission would be open to scrutiny.
And how is the commission being funded?
Sources of funding currently include $100,000 in state appropriations and nearly $400,000 in matching funds raised through gifts, grants and donations. The Commission’s project coordinator is responsible for raising the balance of funds needed for the project. The Act explicitly states that donors shall be anonymous to the project administrator/technical advisor and Commission members.
Donors shall be anonymous? Yup, there is a clause in the bill saying:
There is hereby created in the state treasury the health care reform cash fund. The fund shall consist of moneys appropriated or appropriated by the general assembly to the fund and gifts, grants, and donations from donors who shall remain anonymous to the project administrator and the members of the commission.
So the Committee Chairman is Bill Lindsay, who is President of the Benefit Group of the Lockton Companies. And according to the Lockton Companies website, they are:
The world’s largest privately held global insurance broker.
And United Health Group is the “independent auditor” that is reviewing the proposals.
I guess we don’t want them to find out who is funding this project because, hmmm,
….maybe people will start to think they’d be biased if they knew that information?