Hudson Dermatology is compelled to leave the UnitedHealthcare Medicare network.

Dear Patient,

We are writing, regretfully, to let you know that Hudson Dermatology is compelled to leave the UnitedHealth Medicare network as of 5/1/2024. Ultimately, this does not affect those for whom United Medicare plans are supplemental (secondary or Medigap) to traditional Medicare.

Hudson Dermatology is one of the few remaining independent dermatology practices in the Hudson Valley. This allows us to maintain high standards and excellent personal care at a reasonable cost for you and the insurance companies we work with. Our freedom from corporate rules lets us give you top-quality care, offer the time you need and deserve, and provide accommodations like weekend hours and the ability to contact helpful humans quickly when problems arise. Moreover, we are the only practice in Dutchess, Ulster, and Columbia counties with board-certified Mohs skin cancer and facial plastics/reconstructive surgeons.

Unfortunately, it has become impossible for us to provide this high level of service at the rates that UnitedHealth Medicare is willing to compensate us. In fact, United pays us less than what Medicare compensates them, simply pocketing the difference. In addition, they impose burdensome prior authorization requirements on your care. The Covid and inflation crises have made the situation more difficult for you and our practice while insurance companies have thrived. 

We have tried to negotiate a fair contract with United, but despite their record profits, they have been dragging their feet. Therefore, unless United relents, all of our providers have no choice but to withdraw from the UnitedHealth Medicare network.  United’s “insatiability” for profits is well-documented. Also, through its wholly-owned arm, Optum, United recently bought the largest medical groups in our area, Caremount and Crystal Run. In addition to negatively affecting the local access to healthcare Optum/Caremount is now being investigated by the NYS Attorney General for questionable billing practices.

Hudson Dermatology will continue to accept traditional Medicare as well as other non-UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans. The open enrollment period for Medicare Advantage starts on October 15, 2023, and you may want to plan accordingly.

We will send you more information in the weeks ahead. We thank you for your understanding and for trusting us for your skin needs. We hope you’ll take a moment to support us in our effort to continue to serve you with the best care we can. 

If you would like to express your alarm to United, you may contact 

Marisol Ramirez
Network Contractor, Hudson Valley
UnitedHealthcare, New York
P: (212) 216-6543 | F:(844) 692-5007

Also, importantly, if you receive a UnitedHealth Medicare Advantage plan through your former employer you might want to contact their benefits department. You and your loved ones work hard for your health benefits; do not let United take them away from you!

It is best that you use your own words, but if you’d like some suggestions, you can find them here to contact United and here to contact your former employer.

Hendrik Uyttendaele, MD, PhD, FAAD
Ross Zeltser, MD, FAAD, FACMS
Filamer Kabigting, MD, FAAD
Hudson Dermatology